The 15th and final incarnation of the Oscar buzzmeter promises some surprising results on Sunday night. What began at the end of last October with 26 pundits predicting the top eight races has grown to 32 panelists, many of whom offer their thoughts on all 24 Oscar categories. Some skip a few categories here and there (the hardest ones, of course — cowards!).
To see a category-per-category a roundup report, READ THIS.
To view the Buzzmeter, CLICK HERE, then click on various links marked "Individual Panelist's Rankings" in different boxes to see a grid breaking down predix per pundit. Not every link leads to every category, so you have to move around a bit and, beware: there's a temporary tech glitch if you view sections on a PC using Internet Explorer. We'll solve that soon, but, meantime, if the pundits' names are obscured from view, try switching to using a different browser like Firefox or Netscape.
As is often the case, the fall front-runner stumbled coming out of the gate. In our first buzzmeter, 14 of the pundits picked "Atonement" to win best picture while only 3 had "No Country for Old Men" in first place. Now, all but 3 of us see "No Country" taking the top prize.
And while the Coen boys began the derby tied with "Atonement" helmer Joe Wright with eight votes apiece, the directors of "No Country" now have the backing of everyone on the panel with the exception of Sam Rubin, who thinks that "Juno's" Jason Reitman can pull off a shockeroo.
The category with the most conflicting views is supporting actress race, of course — that hotbed of upsets, historically. Cate Blanchett ("I'm Not There") started out the race as the clear front-runner with 22 of us predicting she would win her second Oscar. Ruby Dee did not even register for her small role in "American Gangster." But her memorable few moments in the movie and her recent SAG win now put her in the lead among our pundits: 12 out of 31 voting. Blanchett comes in second place with 8, Tilda Swinton gets 6 and Amy Ryan 5.
Javier Bardem began the supporting actor race with only 10 of us picking him to win for his work in "No Country," with the rest divided among Hal Holbrook ("Into the Wild), Casey Affleck ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"), Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton"), and non-nominee Tommy Lee Jones ("No Country"). Now, Bardem looks like an absolute lock. Out of all of our pundits, only Sam Rubin and Carrie Rickey opt for Holbrook.
When we first started, only 9 pundits predicted Daniel Day-Lewis to win (I was hoping for Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd"); now everyone but me is behind Day-Lewis. I will riff on my daredevil Clooney prediction further in a separate post.
In the fall, "La Vie en Rose" star Marion Cotillard was the favorite of half of the pundits while Julie Christie ("Away From Her") had only seven backers. All of that support for Cotillard has disappeared and all but three of the panel now predict Christie will win her second Oscar. While none of the three holdouts — Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Peter Howell (Toronto Star) and myself — had Cotillard to win last October, we now think that she can pull off an upset.