Listen to Deadline‘s Pete Hammond openly doubt Spotlight‘s Best Picture chances (“Let’s not get overboard here!”), claiming that it’s mainly a favorite of journalists and that rank-and-file types have yet to render a verdict so let’s wait and see, etc. And listen to Hammond and Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil go all kissy-face on The Martian, calling it “this year’s Gravity.” Hammond reasonably says “not so fast” about Joy, but says he’s spoken to people who’ve seen The Revenant and that it’s “phenomenal,” “Leonardo DiCaprio is in it for the Best Actor Oscar,” “very dark,” “two and a half hours,” etc. O’Neil, a Steve Jobs sentimentalist and lamenter, doesn’t like the idea of a guy (Leo) trudging across the snow and trying to survive. They both agree that Brooklyn and Room have the heat, certainly among women.
Wells to O’Neil and Hammond: Gravity hype was huge when it was in the race, but who do you know now who speaks about Gravity with any genuine affection or enthusiasm? It’s a Sandra Bullock haunted-house movie. Next year everyone (i.e., not just myself) will be calling The Martian a sugar-fizz movie.
O’Neil and Hammond are approaching the awards race from the perspective of the combined predictions of Gold Derby experts. Here are the actual prediction rankings (i.e., from O’Neil, myself, Sasha Stone, et. al.)