Oscars: Deadline's Pete Hammond Vs. Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil In Their Most Fierce Predictions Smackdown Yet (Video)

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.

  1. Watch out for Mad Max. I think the split will be between Spotlight and The Big Short. I don’t think the Revenant is as strong as some people think. I’ve talked to a lot of people who had very mixed feelings about it.

  2. I think that there is an additional factor. Because some folks take being called racist personally, plus that knee jerk reaction by academy’s top brass, voting for Big Short (all white male cast) is a great way to say F.U.

  3. I don’t understand this narrative that has sprung up around PGA being such a “close race.” The result was within three votes? Who could possibly know that other than the accounting firm that tabulates the top-secret ballots? And even if Pete managed to personally poll the votes of 100 members, that’s a whopping 1.4% of the guild’s 7,000 members — hardly a representative sample.

    It’s just like the narrative that has sprung up around The Big Short somehow being the “whitest malest” BP nominee this year. That is far from true. Spotlight isn’t any less white. Neither is Bridge Of Spies. Or Brooklyn. Or Room. In fact, The Big Short is one of only *two* BP nominees this year to even have a black woman in a speaking role, the other being Mad Max.

    Of course, any film that finds itself ahead in the race — as TBS did after its PGA victory — will have detractors desperate to damage its momentum by spinning false narratives. Doesn’t mean we have to lend any credence to them.

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