Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ‘Spotlight’ rallies against threat from ‘The Revenant’ & ‘The Martian’

Two of the final entries in this year’s Oscar race —  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s “The Revenant” and David O. Russell‘s “Joy” — finally unspooled in the last few days. While three of our 21 Oscarwatchers drawn from major media outlets are now predicting that “The Revenant” will win Best Picture, those backing “Joy” sight unseen have shifted over to long-time frontrunner “Spotlight.” Tom McCarthy‘s docudrama chronicling the efforts of Boston Globe reporters to expose pedophile priests now has the support of a whopping 15 Experts. The remaining three are backing Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi thriller “The Martian.” 

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By way of a consolation prize for “The Revenant,” our Experts overwhelmingly predict that Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win an Oscar after five losses. He is spellbinding in his portrayal of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass who trekked 200 miles to exact revenge on the hunters that abandoned him after a bear attack. He has 16 Experts in his corner and leading odds of 15/8. That puts him far ahead of one-time frontrunner Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”) who has four votes and odds of 9/2. 

Likewise for “Joy” star Jennifer Lawrence whose turn as a single mother turned entrepreneur now has the backing of six Experts (up from three before the film screened) and odds of 10/3. Still way out in front is “Room” star Brie Larson who has 11 votes and odds to win of 23/10.  

As you can see from the chart above “Joy” and “The Revenant” started out awards season in first and second place respectively. They were overtaken by “Spotlight” in mid-September after it swept through the festival circuit. That film, which just picked up four nominations and a win from the Indie Spirit Awards, now has leading odds of 5/1 to win Best Picture at the Oscars. 

“The Revenant” is in second with odds of 15/2 while “Joy” has slipped to fourth with odds of 10/1. In third place is “The Martian, which didn’t even make the top 10 at the start of the season. However, a combo of critical praise and boffo box office boosted it up high on our chart and it now has odds of 8/1 to win Best Picture. 

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Room” may not have any first place votes but continues to hold steady with 19 of our experts predicting it to reap a Best Picture bid. That support gives Lenny Abrahamson‘s dark drama with rising star Larson as a kidnap victim and newcomer Jacob Tremblay as the son she conceived in captivity odds of 11/1.

Carol,” Todd Haynes‘s bittersweet love story between a 1950s housewife (Cate Blanchett) and a shopgirl (Rooney Mara) just earned a leading six Indie Spirit nominations. It has odds of 12/1.  

Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielbergs Cold War thriller with two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a lawyer defending accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance) has odds of 14/1. 

Brooklyn,” a charmer about an Irish immigrant to America in the early 1950s, warmed the hearts of enough experts to have odds of 14/1 as well. 

Steve Jobs,” Danny Boyle‘s acclaimed biopic of Apple’s patron saint is at 16/1. 

And the Pixar pic “Inside Out” has returned to the chart in the 10th slot with odds of 28/1. This summer smash supplanted Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight,” which just started screening. 

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

Here’s the Best Picture winner predictions of our 21 Oscarologists.

Spotlight” (15 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Michael Musto (
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Christopher Rosen (EW)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Nicole Sperling (EW)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Susan Wloszczyna (

“The Martian” (3 Experts)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)

“The Revanant” (3 Experts)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)

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