Oscars predictions: How stupid are ‘Experts’?

When you look over our Experts’ Oscar predictions at this point on the calendar – more than three months before nominations will be announced – I know what you’re thinking: “Those pompous pundits can’t possibly know what they’re talking about. Most of these films haven’t even opened in theaters yet!”

OK, calm down! Let’s look back at our Oscar predictions exactly one year ago today and see how we fared. See chart below.

Out of the 34 nominees in the top 6 races, we correctly predicted more than two-thirds: 22 (67%). We picked three winners: Best Picture (“12 Years a Slave”), Best Actress (Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”) and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyongo, “Twelve Years a Slave”).

BEST PICTURE: There turned out to be 9 nominees instead of 10. We really should be able to take credit for getting “Nebraska” right since we had it in our top 10, but we won’t quibble. We missed three ultimate nominees: “Dallas Buyers’ Club,” “Her,” “Philomena.”

BEST DIRECTOR: We called the winner wrong, of course, going with “12 Years” helmer Steve McQueen. Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) took the gold. We didn’t call the nomination for Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”).

BEST ACTOR: We were waaay off on Best Actor, having Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) down in third place after Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) and the snubbed Robert Redford (“All is Lost”). We didn’t see noms coming for Christian Bale (“American Hustle”) or Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”).

BEST ACTRESS: We did well in this race, but snubbed poor Amy Adams (“American Hustle”).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eventual champ Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers’ Club”) is in second place behind Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave”). We overlooked Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle”) and Jonah Hill (“Wolf of Wall Street”).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Admit it. It’s impressive that we tagged Lupita Nyongo so early. We failed to see two nominees, though: Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) and Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County”) 

When Oscar nominations were announced, our prediction percentage turned out to be even higher  at 69% — see that rundown here. And on Oscar night, we ended up correctly forecasting 21 out of 24 races (87.5%). Not bad, eh?

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