Matt Dittes wins our $1,000 contest for best Oscars predictions – How’d he do it?

Congratulations to Matthew Dittes (Cinemateo21 is his user ID) for beating all other Users, Editors and — yes — even the Experts while predicting the 2014-2015 Oscar nominations at Gold Derby. Dittes wins our contest prize of $1,000, plus eternal bragging rights and an exalted place in Gold Derby’s Leaderboards. See the specific Oscar leaderboard devoted to how all 3,054 participants fared who dared to forecast the current, rascally Academy Award nominations. 

Dittes is a 30-year-old assistant artistic director for a contemporary dance company in New York City and also works in retail. The Minnesota native is married with two cats and resides in Brooklyn. Dittes tells us that he’s obsessively watched and predicted the Oscars for 16 years and that he’s been a Gold Derby user since 2011.

So, how’d he pull off such an impressive feat? Let’s examine Dittes’ predictions in all the major Oscar races.

Oscars: Complete list of nominations

BEST PICTURE – 8/8
Dittes scored a perfect 100% for this category, nailing all eight nominated films: “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash.” In his ninth position, Dittes had “Foxcatcher” and in tenth place he had “Nightcrawler.”

BEST ACTOR – 3/5
This ended up being one of the hardest major categories for Dittes to predict, as he only named three of the five nominees. He got Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch correct, however he had David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal nominated instead of the Academy’s eventual choices of Bradley Cooper and Steve Carell.

BEST ACTRESS – 4/5
Like many of us, Dittes had Jennifer Aniston predicted here instead of Marion Cotillard. He got the other four nominees correct though: Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike and Felicity Jones.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 5/5
Another perfect category for Dittes, as he called the noms for J.K. Simmons, Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Duvall.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 4/5
Dittes went with Patricia Arquette, Emma Stone, Keira Knightley, Meryl Streep and Rene Russo, while the Academy went with those first four but subbed in Laura Dern instead of Russo.

Oscars experts: ‘Boyhood’ widens lead for Best Picture as do acting frontrunners

BEST DIRECTOR – 3/5
Dittes’ first three choices all came true: Richard Linklater, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Wes Anderson. However, his third and fourth picks — Ava DuVernay and Damien Chazelle — were swapped out by the Acadmy with Morten Tyldum and Bennett Miller.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – 5/5
Dittes went five-for-five here, predicting noms for “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood,” “Nightcrawler” and “Foxcatcher.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 4/5
With the exception of “Gone Girl,” Dittes called the other four nominees: “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Whiplash” and “American Sniper.” The Academy decided to go with “Inherent Vice” instead of “Gone Girl.”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – 4/5
No surprise here that Dittes predicted “The Lego Movie” in his #1 position, just like the rest of the world. We were all shocked when the Academy snubbed that frontrunner and instead nominated “Song of the Sea.” The other four nominees were correctly predicted.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 4/5
Another category where Dittes missed only one. In this case, he was predicting “The Overnighters” instead of eventual nominee “The Salt of the Earth.”

Oscars experts: ‘Boyhood’ widens lead for Best Picture as do acting frontrunners

AND THE REST …
As for the below-the-line races, Dittes got perfect scores for Best Foreign Film, Best Production Design and Best Makeup/Hairstyling. He got 4/5 for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. And he scored 3/5 for Best Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Animated Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Live Action Short.

Over 3,000 Gold Derby readers forecasted this year’s Oscar nominees in the 24 categories, logging more than 62,000 predictions. Dittes earned the #1 position on our leaderboard thanks to his 79% accuracy and 32,531 point score. (See all of Dittes’ Oscar nom predictions here. To see how you scored the Oscar noms, click here.)

Vote now for which film will win Best Picture at the Oscars using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And sound off in the comments section below.

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