Oscar predictions part 2: other nominations
One way to predict which film will win Best Picture is to examine the other nominations. Historically, somewhere around 75% of Best Picture winners received the most nominations. This has been true of 5 of the past 10 winners, including last year, when “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” tied with 9 nominations each. So it’s a coin toss among recent trends, but it does help drive the narrative, so the advantage here goes to “The King’s Speech”, which leads this year with 12 nominations.
If we also consider Best Picture winners that received the second-most nominations, the tally improves to 9 of the past 10 winners. The exception being “The Departed”, with only 5 nominations compared to 6 for “The Queen” and 7 for “Babel”. (Ironically, the most nominated film from that year, “Dreamgirls”, wasn’t nominated for Best Picture).
Last year the Academy expanded the number of Best Picture nominees to 10, but kept the number of Best Director nominees at 5. Over the Academy’s 82 years of handing out awards, only 3 films have won Best Picture without receiving a Best Director nomination, the most recent being “Driving Miss Daisy” from 1989. So it’s highly unlikely that the five Best Picture nominees this year whose directors weren’t nominated — “Inception”, “Toy Story 3”, “Winter’s Bone”, “127 Hours” and “The Kids Are All Right” — will win this year. 7 of the past 10 Best Picture winners also won the directing award.
Bad news for “Black Swan” is that its screenplay wasn’t nominated. In 82 years, only 9 Best Picture winners failed to receive a screenwriting nom, and only 2 films have done this in the past half century — “The Sound of Music” in 1965 and “Titanic” in 1997. 7 of the past 10 Best Picture winners also won a screenwriting award.
Bad news for “Inception” is that none of its actors were nominated. Only 2 film in the past 10 years have won Best Picture without receiving any acting nominations (“Slumdog Millionaire” and the third “Lord of the Rings” film). 5 of the past 10 Best Picture winners also won at least 1 acting award.
Even more bad news for “Inception” is that only 3 Best Picture winners in 82 years failed to receive a nomination for their film editing, the most recent being “Ordinary People” from 1980. This is also bad news for “True Grit”, which is the second-most nominated film this year. 6 of the past 10 Best Picture winners also won the editing award.
Any film with a real chance at winning Best Picture should also be nominated for its direction, screenwriting and editing, and should receive at least one acting nomination. The three Best Picture nominees this year that meet those qualifications are “TKS”, “The Social Network” and “The Fighter”.
One more statistical entry to come before I make my predictions.