Predict Oscar Nominees, With Science!

nate-silverPhoto: Courtesy Vanity Fair.
Remember way back in 2012 when everyone was wondering if Nate Silver was a witch? Good times, good times. Well the guy who used sorcery (also known as statistical analysis) to accurately predict the 2012 national elections within a few decimal points has turned his psychic powers (keen mathematical insights) toward Oscar nominees.
Well, more precisely, Silver and his team have worked with Vanity Fair to do a colorful, smart analysis of the 503 Best Picture nominees since 1928 to find out what kinds of films tend to get the nod. The results, which you can apply yourself, are quite revealing.
For instance, over 39% of all nominees are based on novels. Around 36% center around a married couple, while over 20% are set right here in New York City. By the way, films with female nudity are trending down in nominations, while pics featuring bare-chested men are shooting up. Silver does not explain why Magic Mike didn't factor in last year's Oscar race. Perhaps because it wasn't set during World War II (one in every seven films nominated since 1939 has been).
Using Silver's results, there's a good chance you'll be able to pick next year's crop of Oscar nominees for yourself. More interestingly, you may even be able to figure out which of this year's noms hit most of the Academy's various sweet spots — a possible predictor for the final winner. Our call: 12 Years A Slave which features more "Winners" tags than any other 2014 nominee. Fascinating. Go over to Vanity Fair to check it out for yourself and drop your winner suggestions (and your dark-magic scientific reasoning behind them) in the comments below. (Vanity Fair)

More from Movies

As a former dancer, there are few things that bring me more joy than dance movies. You needn't have grown up at the barre to love and appreciate films in ...
In February of 2016, Emily Blunt was in the middle of filming Girl On The Train, a psychological thriller. While on-set, Blunt had a big secret: she was ...
After deciding to give Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, The Jungle Book, and possibly Mulan the live action treatment, Disney has announced that yet ...
The 1960s never seemed creepier than in Rose McGowan’s haunting short film, Dawn (2014). McGowan, whose long acting résumé includes roles on TV megahits ...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is easily one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year, but we still have just over a month before Newt ...
How to describe a Tim Burton movie? The writer, director, producer, and illustrator has been sharing his visions of love, children, fear, and beauty with ...
In the upcoming indie sci-fi flick Crossbreed, Vivica A. Fox will play a president who sends war veterans on a mission to retrieve an alien whose DNA is ...
Have you ever re-watched an old movie and cringed? Maybe you were watching Breakfast at Tiffany's and Mickey Rooney's overtly racist Asian stereotype ...
A few months ago, I found myself riveted by an appearance Melissa Harris-Perry made on Real Time With Bill Maher. Harris-Perry had recently left her show...
The miracle and the curse of Netflix are one and the same: There is so much damn stuff to watch. In fact, if you're not sure exactly what you're looking ...
As if winning an Oscar wasn't enough, actress Lupita Nyong'o just proved that she has another talent under her belt: freestyle rapping. The 33-year-old ...
There are few movies that just beg to be parodied more than Fifty Shades of Grey. But High School Musical comes pretty darn close. In case you haven't ...
This month, many 15-year-olds are just getting in the back-to-school swing of things. But Auli'i Cravalho's schedule is a little bit different: The teen ...
Growing up is hard to do. Before "adulting" — that is, clumsily impersonating our role models and pretending we have our lives together — became a buzzword...