In looking over last year’s predictions around this time we were still caught up in movies that hadn’t yet played and/or been rejected, so Unbroken was still riding high, as was Interstellar, even though it had been seen. See, we don’t really “know” anything. We’re just guessing. And last year, even the best of them weren’t on target. Anne Thompson, Thelma Adams and Tim Grey were the only ones who had 7 out of 8 right. The rest of us had 6 out 8 right, which still isn’t that bad. Overall, the Gurus had 6 out 8 right on Thanksgiving weekend, as did Gold Derby.
Like last year, we were messed up because of the late breaking films that embargo reviews until after voting for so many of the critics awards, like the New York Film Critics or National Board of Review. Such is the case once again with The Revenant and Joy at least. Therefore, even if we think they might not be/or might be Oscar nominees, we can’t get that confirmed until the movies get reviewed, seen, talked about. Thus, we’re in a bit of a vacuum even now.
Foxcatcher was a film that should have and would have made it in if the Academy had ten slots for nominating instead of five. After all, three of the best “dark movies” made it on the Producers Guild but fell short of Oscar nominations: Nightcrawler, Foxcatcher and Gone Girl. Some of the Gurus would have perfect predicting scores if Foxcatcher had made it. It was close because Bennett Miller and Steve Carell were both nominated.
Thus, you have to start thinking about which movies might be too dark and thus left off the Academy’s narrow allotment of five slots. Their list will mirror the Producers Guild list minus 1 or 2 or 3. The biggest change I can see from this recent spate of Gurus predictions is that Anne Thompson has made the switch from The Martin to Spotlight, and Steve Pond has reversed it – he now has The Martian predicted. I do not know why they changed that way – but it’s usually a mixture of a hunch and some insider knowledge of some kind.
Right now, I think you could say with confidence that almost everyone has no idea what will win Best Picture. Spotlight has the pundits on its side and is beloved by many. It could easily win. Creed’s impact hasn’t yet been felt by the Gurus or on any other group at the moment. It is starting to look like that movie with have some momentum heading into the season but it’s not really clear if it will. Gaining momentum, I’d say, would be Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road.