Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and I go at it again in our latest Oscar Smackdown, where we try to make sense of where the race is now post PGA and SAG and just in front of the hardest-to-predict DGA Awards in years. What does it all mean for the Academy? Tom thinks there are three pictures in it to Pete Hammond badgewin it all — Spotlight, The Big Short and The Revenant and I would throw in even more including George Miller’s surging Mad Max: Fury Roadwhich has the second-highest number of Oscar nominations with 10, gold-derbyshort of Revenant’s 12. But both of those movies lack screenwriting nods, thereby muddying the waters as it makes them statistically and historically longer shots in the end for the Best Picture prize.

But suppose all four of these movies somehow split down the middle? I propose the little-movie-that-could Room with key Picture, Director, Actress and Screenwriting nominations just might prevail in a shocker worthy of 1981, when Chariots Of Fire came out of nowhere to slay the Goliaths in the race. Room, for whatever reasons, also might be the least-seen of all the Best Picture nominees and could benefit from viewing late in the game, where the emotional punch it packs might be most deeply felt just as balloting begins.

And how will this weekend’s DGA mystery finally be solved? We explore all the options. To watch just click on the video link above.