Final Oscar Prediction Smackdown: Deadline’s Pete Hammond And Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil Have It All Figured Out – Is A Best Picture Shocker In Store?

It’s all over but the opening of those envelopes, and Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and I are back for one last smackdown in which we make predictions in all 24 categories. If you can’t win your Oscar pool with these, then forget it.  Actually we both agree there are many categories that are slam dunks (Leo and Brie, anyone?)  but for weeks now we have collectively been scratching our heads regarding the outcome of the Best Picture race. As we discuss in detail it is the use of that “preferential ” ballot that causes all the confusion – and the guessing.  Although I switched my Best Pic prediction Pete Hammond badgeofficially from The Big Short to The Revenant because the latter just seems more capable of putting together a more traditional kind of Oscar win, I have now been gathering strong evidence in the last few days that it is actually Spotlight that may be poised to sneak in at the last minute and take it all.  This creates an interesting situation. Check out why on our video.

Oscar show producers are indicating a shakeup in the order that awards will be presented on Sunday night, indicating a preference to present them in the same way a movie is actually made.  So with this in mind expect the Original and Adapted Screenplay awards to be the very first presented on the show.  This idea is actually something Bill Condon and Larry Mark did when theygold-derby produced the Oscars.  But this year, as Tom and I discuss, the slamdunk winners in those two categories are none other than The Big Short  and Spotlight. We are both predicting that those writing awards are the only other possible Oscars either film receives before the final award for Best Picture is announced. So after a very good start for these two, expect the bulk of the show to go back and forth between The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road on the way to the most exciting Best Picture announcement in many years (producer David Hill told me they are very psyched about the presenter they have lined up to do this, but isn’t tipping his hat on who that is). Logic would say the movie with the most nominations going in, and a slew of wins on the night, would be the winner. That’s The Revenant, which has been gathering big momentum with DGA and BAFTA wins.  But could this actually be one of those years that Oscar is turned on his head? It is HIGHLY possible that when the Best Picture envelope is opened the name inside will be either The Big Short or Spotlight, making this the first year since 1952 that a film wins Best Picture and only one other Oscar (that was when The Greatest Show On Earth won the now defunct category of Best Motion Picture Story and then – shock- Best Picture). The other thing to watch out for in this shaken-up presentation is Film Editing.  It appears though it will come late in the show, but if either Big Short or Spotlight upsets more likely winners Revenant or especially Mad Max: Fury Road THAT, as we discuss, will be a clear signal of your Best Picture winner.  Argo  and Crash pulled off their Best Picture victories with only Editing and Screenplay Oscars in their total. There are all sorts of possibilities in play. That is why the town seems uncommonly nervous as this weekend’s pre-parties get underway.  No one really knows. Could Room even come from way behind to finish first in a Chariots Of Fire –style upset?  Oy. Fasten your seatbelts it is going to be a bumpy night.

We cover it all. To see our smackdown just click on the link above.

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