The following table provides predictions for the four main categories for the 2006 Academy Awards. The nominees are presented in order of expected probability to win, with the probabilities (in percentages) given in the final column. Eventual winners shown in bold.
|Picture||Babel||70||Although The Departed seems to be the bookmaker's favorite, Babel gets a big score for its Golden Globe (drama) win and having the most overall nominations (seven) of the five Best Picture contenders. Interestingly, the model gives The Departed and The Queen roughly equal chances of winning, with Little Miss Sunshine not far behind with its Producer's Guild win. Overall, this category seems the hardest to call of the four major races this year.|
|Little Miss Sunshine||7|
|Letters from Iwo Jima||4|
|Director||Martin Scorsese for The Departed||97||Martin Scorsese benefits from his Director's Guild win and from five previous director nominations, making him a clear favorite here. First-time nominee, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and previous nominees, Clint Eastwood and Stephen Frears, have an outside chance of playing spoiler, while another first-time nominee, Paul Greengrass, is less likely to do so.|
|Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel||1|
|Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima||1|
|Stephen Frears for The Queen||1|
|Paul Greengrass for United 93||<1|
|Actor in a Leading Role||Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland||90||Forest Whitaker scores big for Golden Globe (drama) and Screen Actors Guild awards. Peter O'Toole could upset the odds with his eighth lead actor nomination (but no wins yet). Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith both have one previous lead actor nomination, and DiCaprio's film, Blood Diamond, is the only one represented in this category that has multiple nominations.|
|Peter O'Toole in Venus||5|
|Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond||2|
|Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness||2|
|Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson||1|
|Actress in a Leading Role||Helen Mirren in The Queen||97||Helen Mirren scores big for Golden Globe (drama) and Screen Actors Guild awards, and, to a lesser degree, for being nominated for a performance in a best picture nominee. Meryl Streep benefits from her Golden Globe (musical/comedy) win, but, having previously won a lead actress Oscar, probably won't win this year. This category and the director category seem to be the least competitive of the four major races this year.|
|Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada||1|
|Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal||1|
|Kate Winslet in Little Children||1|
|Penélope Cruz in Volver||1|
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Last updated: February 15, 2007
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© 2007, Iain Pardoe