3 big Oscars upsets: These winners took us by surprise, and yes, that includes ‘Parasite’

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards were Sunday night, and this is where I tell you about all the winners that took us by surprise. But that turns out to be a short list. Out of 24 categories, our racetrack odds picked the winner 21 times. Compare that to last year when our odds were right 14 times. The year before that we were right 19 times. Scroll down to see those three categories we missed, and check out the complete list of winners here.

Ironically, two of the three categories our odds missed were the big ones: Best Picture and Best Director, both of which went to “Parasite” and its filmmaker Bong Joon Ho over the front-runner in both categories, “1917.” But we didn’t miss them by much. We ranked “Parasite” second in both categories based on the combined forecasts of more than 10,000 registered Gold Derby users. We knew it was a major threat to win after its ensemble cast upset at the SAG Awards, which has also foretold surprise winners like “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Crash” (2005) and “Spotlight” (2015).

Actually, the Best Director win was more surprising than the Best Picture win. “1917” filmmaker Sam Mendes had won pretty much everywhere else: the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards (shared with Bong), Directors Guild Awards and the BAFTAs. So he was the heavy favorite at the Oscars too, while we knew that the preferential ballot for Best Picture could tip the scales in favor of the Korean film.

The only other category we missed was another one where we thought “1917” would win: Best Sound Editing, which went to “Ford v Ferrari” instead while “1917” did claim Best Sound Mixing as expected. It’s unusual for the Oscars to split those two awards unless one of them is a musical. Often, music-driven films take Sound Mixing while action-packed films get Sound Editing, but quite often the action-packed contender gets both, like “Gravity” (2013), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Dunkirk” (2017).

But again, we ranked “Ford v Ferrari” second in our odds, so it’s not like it came out of nowhere. Our odds were so reliable this year that we actually ended up with our first ever 100% scorer at this event among our users. Did you see these surprises coming too?

BEST PICTURE
“Parasite” — ranked 2nd with 11/2 odds

BEST DIRECTOR
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite” — ranked 2nd with 19/5 odds

BEST SOUND EDITING
“Ford v Ferrari” — ranked 2nd with 19/5 odds

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