OscarLytics: In Part II of the Final Math-Based Predictions, 'Frozen' Is Looking Hot
In the foreign-language race, Italy's "The Great Beauty" is slightly ahead of Denmark's "The Hunt."
Editor’s Note: Ben Zauzmer (@BensOscarMath) is a big fan of the Oscars, as well an applied math major at Harvard. For the past two years, he has predicted the Oscars using nothing but math, calling 75 percent in 2012 and 81 percent in 2013. This year, he’s teaming up with The Hollywood Reporter to bring you his Oscar predictions, which are purely based on math. See THR’s Feinberg Forecast for a look at the Oscar race that takes into account other factors).
As the final countdown until the March 2 Oscar ceremony continues, Frozen looks as if it almost has the best animated feature race locked up. The Great Beauty has slightly better odds than The Hunt of taking home the foreign-language Academy Award, and 20 Feet From Stardom leads the pack of documentary feature contenders.
Once again, a reminder about methodology: I calculate all of these standings using only math; no personal preferences or hunches are involved. I use data from previous years such as other awards shows, other nomination categories and critics' scores to determine the relative weights of each factor for each Oscar category.
Yesterday's column looked at the top eight categories, so now let's turn to the next group of contests:
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
In the three years I have predicted the Oscars, Frozen's 92 percent is the highest chance any nominee has had of winning an Oscar in any category. If anything else wins, it would be the biggest upset, mathematically speaking, of the decade.
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
This is a very close category, but its Golden Globe win barely puts The Great Beauty in first. But no one should be surprised if The Hunt, only 7 percent back, earns the Oscar.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
This is another close one, since no documentary cleaned up during awards season. 20 Feet From Stardom gets its modest lead from a variety of factors including its Critics' Choice win, which is not the strongest indicator but one of the best we have for this category.
The fact that the Golden Globe went to All Is Lost, which was not nominated by the Academy, makes this a very difficult category, and all of the top three are well within contention.
There aren't many predictors for this category, so when the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards disagree -- the Globes opted for U2's "Ordinary Love" while the Critics' Choice went to Frozen's "Let It Go" -- it makes this a race without a truly dominant favorite.
TOMORROW: The probable winners in all the remaining crafts categories.