It's probably the most wide open Oscar race in a decade or so. There are some categories that would appear to be all but won (Actor, Actress) and others that could go one of several ways (Picture, Director).

So while our Brian has his picks over yonder, I had a bash myself and even put my money where my mouth was. I've been told I'm taking the entire staff for lunch if this comes through (via Paddy Power at 88/1). I hope everyone here likes KFC...

Best Picture

Part of me thinks The Martian could nick this, but the lack of nomination for Ridley Scott throws that a little. The one broad enough release that still has time to gain the appropriate momentum is Spotlight (4/5). Also, it helps that Tom McCarthy is nominated for Best Director.

Best Director

Which bleeds from the Best Picture pick. Tom McCarthy (7/2) made an unfussy, important film with a lot of big name actors. Reviews were broadly positive and collectively everyone is well respected. It could reap the majority of the main gongs because of that. If McCarthy doesn't pick it up, George Miller has an outside shot; as much as we'd love to see a deserving Lenny Abrahamson walk away with gold.

Best Actor

We're still waiting on the fat lady to sing, but anything other than a Leonardo DiCaprio (1/10) win here would be a startling upset. If Steve Jobs had done better at the box-office Michael Fassbender would be a much louder part of the conversation.


Best Actress

Brie Larson (2/7) gave the best performance of the year... female or male. She is note perfect in Room and she deserves the Oscar. If enough academy members get off their hoops at see the film, she is a winner. If not, then Saoirse Ronan could be taking a golden baldie back to Tropical Popical.


Best Supporting Actor

It's tough to begrudge Sylvester Stallone (8/15) this. He's portrayed Rocky through so many variations over four decades and still had the humility to let a director in his mid-20s come in and play with not just his signature role, but one he created. There's not much in the way of competition here - it should be Sly's night.


Best Supporting Actress

Both Kate Winslet (4/1) and Alicia Vikander are picking up awards. The former a firm favourite and past winner in the lead category, the latter a new kid on the block who should have a very big 2016. We're leaning towards Winslet, who was great in Steve Jobs. But it could shift as the smaller award shows crack on - keep an eye on the Actor's Guild Awards.