Oscar predictions update by Pete Hammond and Tom O’Neil – Who’s ahead to win?

“This has been a wide open Oscar race all year!” Pete Hammond (Deadline) roars in our video chat. “But it just got even more wide open now that the nominations are out – and even after the Golden Globes threw everybody for a surprise.”

I remind Pete that none of the 25 “experts” at Gold Derby predicted that Globes victory by “The Revenant” as Best Drama Picture and now he adds that we may have more surprises ahead.

See latest predictions by top Oscar experts

“The movie with the most nominations usually wins Best Picture at the Oscars,” he says – so that means “The Revenant” (with 12) is in good shape, right? Yes, but … “You have these two little movies with six and five nominations – ‘Spotlight‘ and ‘The Big Short’ and they seem to me to be the frontrunners of the frontrunners because they have nominations for picture, directing, writing and acting. They’ve run the table.

“‘Spotlight’s’ nomination for film editing really exhibits strength within the academy,” he adds after noting how the film was snubbed by the editors’ guild and it missed out on being nominated for Best Director at BAFTA. “Don’t write off ‘Spotlight.’ I think that film is back. ‘The Big Short‘ has been surging all along. I have talked to so many academy members who love this movie. It’s a discovery. It came out late in the year, so it’s top of mind.”

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Pete also thinks “Mad Max: Fury Road” is seriously in the running for Best Picture, too, because “it’s a filmmaker’s movie.”

Watch our chat above. Or listen to the audio podcast version below. Do a search for Gold Derby at the iTunes store to subscribe to our podcast series. 

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