Last month, Slate asked readers to help us predict the Oscar results, which will be announced this Sunday. Nearly 3,500 people weighed in with their picks. If Slate readers are right, it's going to be a big night for The Hurt Locker. You heavily favored Kathryn Bigelow to beat James Cameron for the best-director award, and when we closed the voting this week, The Hurt Locker was also leading Avatar in the best-picture category by more than 400 votes.
But how does the wisdom of Slate readers match up with what the professional prognosticators are saying? To find out, we compiled the predictions of 30 movie critics and industry-watchers. (Special thanks to the Los Angeles Times awards blog The Envelope, which had already done a lot of this work for us with its Buzzmeter.) Slate readers see eye to eye with the experts in some categories—both groups see Jeff Bridges running away with the best-actor award—but there are some differences of opinion as well. A slim majority of movie critics predict best picture will go to Avatar.
The lists are displayed in the two boxes below. Use the dropdown menus to display different categories.
One curiosity is that the experts seem far more certain than readers. The Blind Side's Sandra Bullock was the favorite of 21 of 29 pros, while she edges out Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) among Slate readers by only 192 votes.
Sadly, most of the experts don't bother picking winners in some of the less-prestigious categories. Slate readers, meanwhile, had fairly clear picks here. Up flies off with the statue for best animated feature, while Avatar is the clear favorite for cinematography. The closest race was between Coco Before Chanel and Nine for best costume.
Check back on Monday to see how each group fared. We'll also be scouring the Slate submissions for a reader who correctly guessed all 13 categories in Slate's contest.
The staff of AM New York
Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon
Xan Brooks, The Guardian
Ted Casablanca, E Online
Edward Douglas, Coming Soon
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Gregg Ellwood, HitFix
David Fear, Time Out New York
Scott Feinberg, And the Winner Is …
Marshall Fine, Star Magazine
Paul Gaita, The Envelope
Jeff Goldsmith, Creative Screenwriting
Pete Hammond, The Envelope
Ann Hornaday, the Washington Post
Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Dave Karger, Entertainment Weekly
Kevin Lewin, WENN News
Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Michael Musto, Village Voice
Tom O'Neil, The Envelope
Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Michael Phillips, the Chicago Tribune
Steve Pond, The Wrap
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
Sasha Stone, Awards Daily
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
The staff of Vulture
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today