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How To Spot A Best Picture Winner

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  • Brennan Merone
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    I went through all of the past 20 Best Picture winners to see if there is a common theme of accolades they received. Here is what I found.

    1. SAG Ensemble nom (all)
    2. At least one individual SAG nom (all except Lord of the Rings)
    3. DGA nom (all)
    4. Screenplay nom (all except Titanic)
    5. PGA nom (all)
    6. WGA nom (all who were eligible)
    7. Editing nom (all except Birdman)
    8. BAFTA nom for Best Film (all except Million Dollar Baby, which was shut out entirely)
    9. NBR Top 10 (all except Lord of the Rings and A Beautiful Mind, which hadn’t been released yet)
    10. Critic’s Choice nom (all)

    Feel free to add to this list. But going by it, we can look at recent Best Picture upsets and see why they lost.

    La La Land (missed #1)
    Revenant (missed #1, #4, and #6)
    Gravity (missed #1, #4, and #6)
    Brokeback Mountain (missed #7)

    And Moonlight was the only nominee this year who got all 10…can we really be that surprised it won?

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    ETPhoneHome
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    Certainly an interesting list, and most of these theories are individually brought up each year as contenders emerge. One that I’ve also noticed is that only one film in history, Patton in 1970, has lost Visual Effects and then won best picture. If nominated in that category, they need to win it, as shown with Titanic, Forrest Gump, LOTR and the upset victory for Gladiator.

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    Kwame
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    nice work

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    Sagand
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    I think the problem with analysis like this is that the system to decide Best Picture has changed so you aren’t comparing like to like. 8 years of the data is showing who wins the preferential ballot and 12 years is showing who wins the plurality.

    (NBR had seen Lord of the Rings as it won Best ensemble.)

    11. Best Director Nomination (All except Argo)
    12. Golden Globe Picture Nomination (All except Crash)
    13. Golden Globe Director Nomination (All except Crash)

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    Eddy Q
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    I think the problem with analysis like this is that the system to decide Best Picture has changed so you aren’t comparing like to like. 8 years of the data is showing who wins the preferential ballot and 12 years is showing who wins the plurality.

    True, except I believe all the winners except possibly the last two would’ve been the same with the plurality vote anyway. In fact Spotlight’s competition was open enough that it might even have squeaked by on plurality. And while La La Land probably did have the most number 1s, I’m not totally certain of that.

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