Uproxx’s Awards Forecast offers a weekly look at the front-runners in several key Academy Award races, based on pundit chatter and pre-Oscar awards. (The pundit analysis is based on opinions put forward by major Oscar-tracking outlets, including Vulture, the expert panel at Gold Derby, Indiewire, Awards Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Awards Circuit. Pre-Oscar awards consider recent winners announced by industry and critic organizations that annually recognize achievement in film.)
The big news this week is the emergence of a new front-runner in the difficult-to-call Best Picture race. That would be The Big Short, which on Saturday won the top motion-picture award from the Producers Guild of America. As Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan writes: “The PGA winner has gone on to take home Best Picture at the Oscars for each of the last eight years, ever since the Academy and the PGA both adopted an expanded field of over five nominees and began using a preferential ballot to determine the eventual victor.” It’s worth noting that in 2014, there was a PGA tie, with 12 Years a Slave and Gravity sharing the honor. So, technically, the PGA was half-right that year. Nevertheless, that’s a pretty reliable correlation that suggests Spotlight is hardly the sure thing that some pundits have suggested. It will be interesting to see whether the Screen Actors Guild Awards, to be held on Saturday, shakes up any of the preconceived notions on the acting front.
In these additional six categories noted in the above graphic, opinion hasn’t shifted much, either. The PGA named Inside Out as the year’s best animated film, solidifying what already feels like a cemented-in win in the same category at the Academy Awards. On the screenplay, foreign film, documentary and song fronts, the forecasts haven’t shifted a single degree. Right now, these picks all look like smart ones to make in your Oscar pools.