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We’re still a month away from the Oscars, and already it’s been a wild awards season. Roma is the favorite for best picture! Scratch that, it’s A Star Is Born. Wait, what about Green Book? Has The Favourite moved into the lead? Don’t forget Vice or BlacKkKlansman! Can Black Panther pull it off?
So naturally, the Golden Globes selected as best drama … Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Oscar nominations announcement on Tuesday morning should help clear some of this up. But if you can’t wait that long, we can calculate the probability of each movie getting nominated with the help of math. Every year, I gather data on which honors each film, director, actor, actress and screenplay has collected throughout December and January. I then weight that data based on how well those awards have predicted the Oscar nominations in the past. That gives us the percentage chance that each potential nominee will hear his or her name read out on Tuesday.
It’s a nervous time of year for Oscar hopefuls, and this math won’t change that. Even many of the favorites are still well below 100 percent to get nominated. But for us viewers without skin in the game, that lack of certainty is precisely what makes the race so thrilling.
Ben Zauzmer (@BensOscarMath) uses data to write about awards shows for The Hollywood Reporter. He works as a baseball analyst for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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