Don't make your Oscar picks before checking out this blog -

Don’t make your Oscar picks before checking out this blog

Amanda Shendruk looks at 37 years of Best Picture winners to determine which film will win big


The Academy Award nominees have been announced, which means the season of speculation has officially begun. So, I decided to look into the statistics of Oscar winners to see how much of a pattern I could find, and if it would be fairly easy to guess, just based on past winners, which movies would take home the award.

In the interest of time, I narrowed my mini statistical survey down to just Best Picture winners and nominees since 1975. I looked at the likelihood of winning based on MPAA rating and genre classification. (Interesting note: No animation, nor any movie rated G has won the Best Picture award since at least 1975).  I admit, it’s far from scientific (so don’t go bet the farm), but it’s an interesting way to take a stab at Oscar predictions.

Without further ado: The graphic below displays which Best Picture nominees are more likely to take home this year’s Oscar, and are based solely on my quick and dirty statistical analysis (I actually haven’t seen any of the films myself).

After creating this graphic, I did a bit of research into the “art” of Oscar predictions. Apparently the most accurate indicator of the Best Picture winner is the accolades and awards won in the months leading up to the Academy Awards. For an interesting read about Oscar predictions, check out this 2009 post by Nate Silver.

What do you think? Which film do you think will win, and why do you think so?


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Don’t make your Oscar picks before checking out this blog

  1. The choice of “not possible” for the final three films is unfortunate – and incorrect. As the writer says, only 17% of films with a comedic element have won. Well, 17% is not 0% is it? A better term would have been “unlikely.”

  2. The biggest predictor is whether or not the director has also been nominated. That rules out Django, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Mis and Argo. Amour won’t win because it’s foreign language. Beasts won’t win because it’s budget is too small. Lincoln is a huge favourite, but Silver Linings and Life of Pi have a shot. Silver Linings is to Lincoln what Shakepeare in Love was to Saving Private Ryan. Life of Pi can be compared to Slumdog Millionaire.

  3. What the write should have looked at was the # of times a picture not nominated in Best Editing has won Best Picture. Having the best picture means it has to be edited well. Since 1981, all of the pictures who won Best Picture were also nominated in Best Editing And about two thirds of the movies who won Best Editing have won Best Picture. Looking based on genres and classifications is silly to me, because it doesn’t past performance of separate movies is not if any relevance to current or future movies. I agree that they should have at least said not likely, although one of my picks for best film are in that not likely group (Life of Pi).