Mild Concern Oscars 2014 Live Ramble

The Oscars 2014 Data

Following the fun of last year’s live ramble I’m staying up all night again to watch rich people give each other small golden statues as a reward for pretending to be other people. I am here tonight for two reasons:

1. I want to see how well my statistical predictions have fared.
2. I have the day off work tomorrow anyway to receive an IKEA delivery.

Two very important reasons I am sure you will agree…

As for those statistical predictions; the final figures are in. After last night’s Independent Spirit Awards I have all the data I need to make my predictions. Only two categories have shifted since our last look at the numbers so I won’t linger on the maths too much today. Simply put Lupita Nyong’o has edged ahead of Jennifer Lawrence in the race for Best Supporting Actress but the figures are so close either could easily win. The only other category to change is the award for best Documentary in which 20 Feet from Stardom has broken away from The Act of Killing despite the latter being a hugely deserving winner. Will my numbers be right, only time will tell.

The live ramble will start as soon as I have something to say and will finish around 4am at which point I will be making less sense than usual and my use of commas will be criminal. To view the live ramble click here and scroll down below the “Related Posts” to either join me live in a journey through insomnia or simply read through the evening in the morning.

For reference here are my FINAL Oscar predictions:

Oscar Predictions Update – The BAFTA Effect

The Oscars 2014 Data

Last month I introduced to you my amazing new statistical approach for predicting the Oscar winners. Amazing, new, and stolen from Nate Silver. With the BAFTAs having been announced we now have much more fleshed out statistics and the predictions are becoming ever more clear. Sadly my 100% foolproof prediction technique seems to be agreeing with the bookmakers’ picks so any attempt for me to get rich is not going to happen.

Below are my updated charts (oooh charts!) which look at each category in turn, just select the category you want to look at from the drop down menu (oooh drop down menu!). If you want to read about the methodology have a look at the previous post.

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave

Already the frontrunner last month 12 Years a Slave now holds the BAFTA in this most important category and so looks unbeatable at the Oscar ceremony. Start practising your speech Steve McQueen.

Directing
Gravity

Another predicted winner that was set for Oscar success without the need for BAFTA support. Now with the golden mask secured Gravity is statistically unbeatable… let’s just hope the voters realise my integrity is at stake.

Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Every nominee apart from Christian Bale has won at least one precursor award for this category but, regardless of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s win last night, Matthew McConaughey has won more of the most accurate award predictors. With its British skew BAFTA only predicts this category 54% of the time.

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett has continued to gather awards for her role in Blue Jasmine and this success is giving her the most striking statistic of all with an 80% chance of winning the Oscar. Poor Judi Dench might as well stay at home.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

While the BAFTA went to the deserving newcomer Barkhad Abdi from Captain Phillips it’s not enough to take on Jared Leto’s near clean sweep for Dallas Buyers Club which leaves him more likely to win than not.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle

For now at least. The BAFTA win for Lawrence, with its 77% accuracy rating, has pushed her ahead of former frontrunner Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave. The stats are close though and if Nyong’o can win the Independent Spirit award the day before the Oscars (an award Lawrence is not nominated for) she will JUST gain the lead. Far too close to call this one.

Original Screenplay
Spike Jonze for Her

Forget the BAFTAs for a minute as the WGA awards have also taken place recently and they are key predictor when it comes to the writing category, most likely as the two voting panels will have a large overlap. As such the WGA win for Her has let it increase its lead slightly, though with a probability of victory as low as 36% American Hustle could steal the show.

Adapted Screenplay
Billy Ray for Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips winning the WGA award and Philomena the BAFTA has given this already contentious category a little shake-up. The front-runner now is Captain Phillips with a slightly above average chance of victory at 25%.

Documentary
20 Feet from Stardom / The Act of Killing

The most awarded film in this category, Stories We Tell, isn’t nominated for the Oscar so from a data point of view we’re fighting for table scraps. Currently 20 Feet from Stardom and The Act of Killing are level pegging but that isn’t saying much. A win at the Spirit Awards for either film would be a real boon for both them and my statistics.

Animated Film
Frozen

Last time we checked Frozen had a healthy lead over the competition and since then has won the 100% accurate BAFTA award and the category specific Annie Award leaving it with a 74% chance of success. This isn’t quite as safe as Cate Blanchett but I would be amazed if any other animation got the Oscar.

Foreign Film
The Great Beauty

Blue is the Warmest Colour was ruining this category by winning all the awards but not having an Oscar nomination. Thankfully The Great Beauty has added a BAFTA to its Golden Globe and is looking like a much healthier contender for the all important golden statue.

We’ll have one final look at how things stand after the Independent Spirit Awards on 1st March and then on the 2nd my results will truly be put to the test.

Oscars! Statistics! Predicting the Winners with Maths!

The Oscars 2014 Data
UPDATE: Stats have been updated after the BAFTAs and can be found here.

Last year statistical wizard Nate Silver had a go at predicting the Oscar winners using the various other award ceremonies as indicators. With my love for both films and data this year I decided to give it a go myself. Taking a leaf out of Nate’s book I will be using twelve other award ceremonies to give me my predictions. I will not be using anything other that cold, hard statistics and will not let my emotions or film knowledge sway my opinion.

To begin with I looked at how often these twelve awards have agreed with the Oscar selections across 11 awards categories since the year 2000. For example; the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor have gone to the same recipient as one another 11 times out of the past 13 years and so in this category the Golden Globes have a predictive accuracy of 85%. As the ceremonies take place for this year’s events I am looking at all the awards the Oscar nominees are winning, calculating their chance of winning the Oscar based on their combined precursor awards’ predictive accuracy, and comparing that score with their rivals.

So far nine of my twelve precursor ceremonies have taken place, and some categories won’t settle down until after the BAFTAs in mid-February, but my interim analysis certainly shows some dominant nominees. Have a look at the charts below and see what you think. The drop down menu will allow you to toggle between Oscar categories, the bar chart to the left shows how the nominees stack up against one another so far, and the table to the right shows how often the other awards correspond with the Oscar winner.

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave

The strongest predictors for Best Picture are the Producers Guild Award and the Critic’s Choice Movie Award, both of which were won by 12 Years a Slave. The only significant award yet to be announced is the BAFTA but even if Gravity takes the title it will have to literally beat the odds if it hopes to win the Oscar.

Directing
Gravity

It is completely the opposite story for the Best Director Oscar with Alfonso Cuarón and Gravity having won the big hitters in the form of the Directors Guild Award and the Critic’s Choice Movie Award. 12 Years a Slave is so far behind that a BAFTA win would make little difference.

Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

The Critic’s Choice Movie Award again dominates the field followed closely by the Screen Actors Guild Award, both sitting on the mantelpiece of Matthew McConaughey. The power lies in London now as both the London Film Critics Circle and BAFTA awards have yet to be decided and both hold some sway over the category.

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

By far and away the most distinctive category at this stage in the race as Cate Blanchett leaves all rivals in the dust. Her’s is the only Oscar nominated performance to have won any precursor award apart from Amy Adams who won a mostly inaccurate Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. This really is Blanchett’s award to lose.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Almost as strong a predicted winner as Blanchett, Leto is way out in the lead having won all but three of the precursor awards to this point. The only other actors to have won awards in this category aren’t even nomination for the Oscar so won’t be troubling Leto when March roles round. No competition… yet.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence have won three precursor awards each with Nyong’o taking the lead by winning awards of slightly more importance than Lawrence. Too close to call yet especially with the most accurate BAFTA looming in a few weeks.

Original Screenplay
Spike Jonze for Her

Let’s take this prediction with a huge pinch of salt right now as the only awards with any predictive power here, the BAFTA and the Writer’s Guild of America Award, lie in the future and could easily change the rankings completely.

Adapted Screenplay
Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street

The BAFTA isn’t as important for this award but the WGA award certainly is. No nominee has won more than one precursor award so far so we may never have a good grip on the winner before the Oscar itself is awarded.

Documentary
20 Feet from Stardom

This is a very difficult category to predict as none of the precursor awards are particularly accurate predictors. 20 Feet from Stardom takes the lead having only won the Critics’ Choice Movie Award with all other awards to date going to Stories We Tell which has not been nominated.

Animated Film
Frozen

Way out in the lead is Frozen with the mightily accurate Critics’ Choice Movie Award under its belt. That said the BAFTA for this category has yet to be awarded and thus far it has an unprecedented 100% predictive accuracy.

Foreign Film
The Great Beauty

It all falls apart here as one film is absolutely dominating this category across the precursor awards and that is Blue is the Warmest Colour. Tragically the film is not eligible for the Oscars this year so we only have The Great Beauty‘s win at the Golden Globes to go by.

We’ll have another look at how things stand after the BAFTAs on 15th February when we will have four more ceremonies contributing to the stats and I will be making my way to the bookies.