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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Oscars Playbook: 10 stats you need to know to win your Oscars pool

who wins Oscar betting stats expert picks
Oscars Playbook: 10 stats you need to know to win your Oscars pool

1. Win the Visual Effect category
Historically, a Best Visual Effects nominee that also has a Best Picture nomination will always win. Last year, Best Picture nominee Hugo, won over Harry Potter, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet Apes and Transformers.
Bad news for Prometheus.

Also noteworthy, for seven of the past 10 VES Awards, the winner for outstanding VFX has gone on to win the Oscar in that category.

2. Composer John Williams always wins, right?
John Williams, competing in the original score category for Lincoln, has the most nominations of any living person with 48. But he’s only won it 5 times. His last win was for Schindler's List —in 1993.

3. Spielberg always wins, right?
Along with The Turning Point, Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple holds the record for most nominations, 11, without any wins. Spielberg’s Lincoln has 12 nominations this year.

4. Win the Best Costume category
Period movies have won Best Costume for 18 of the past 21 years. Exceptions were Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Dracula and Alice in Wonderland.

5. Forget how you’ve always voted in the past — for these 3 categories
New to this year, ALL members of the Academy (not just peers in the category) can pick the winners of:
Best Documentary Feature
Best Animated Short Subject
Best Live Action Short Subject

That means everyone from actors to musicians will have a say instead of just documentarians. Bet on something with a cute animal, just saying.

6. For tiebreakers that ask you to bet on the show’s running time, look to these trends.
In 2002, the show ran 4 hours and 23 minutes. Whew! But just like its ratings, the show has been getting smaller ever since. Here are the timings on the past five years:

2008: 3 hours, 21 minutes
2009: 3 hours, 30 minutes
2010: 3 hours, 37 minutes
2011: 3 hours, 15 minutes
2012: 3 hours, 14 minutes

7. Don’t use the Golden Globes as a crutch
It’s a fun show, but don’t use The Golden Globes as a guide for your Oscar Night picks. In the past 8 years, only 2 of the Golden Globe winners for Best Picture matched the Academy’s Best Picture winner (even though GG has TWO  chances to match up each year with both drama and comedy/musical categories).

8. Win the Best Sound Editing category
The loudest movie takes Best Sound Editing, period. Speed, Pearl Harbor and Bourne Ultimatum have all won Oscars.

9. Win the Best Foreign Language Film category
The foreign film that was playing at the Angelika Dallas during the week of the Oscars has won Best Foreign Language Film for 7 of the past 8 years.

10. Win the Best Picture category
We all know about needing a director nomination to win, but this year, sympathy for Affleck’s snub may actually help Argo win.

So consider these two facts instead: only nine movies have ever won best picture without a Best Film Editing nomination since the category was introduced in 1934. The most recent of which came 22 years ago, Ordinary People (1980).

And only two films in the last 57 years have won best picture without a Best Screenplay nomination, the most recent being Titanic (1997).

Good luck!

The Impossible

Naomi Watts Oscar Oscars nomination win
"Go and help people.”
The Impossible is based on a true story about a family vacationing in Thailand in 2004 when a cataclysmic earthquake in the Indian Ocean unleashed history’s most destructive tsunami.

The film begins with director Juan Antonio Bayona’s dynamo tsunami scene that surpasses Clint Eastwood's once-impressive one in Hereafter. Bayona captures the magnitude of the disaster’s effect on thousands of people in Thailand, but he soon moves to a more personal story. One that is haunting, poignant — and tough to watch at times.

The full cast does a remarkable job of convincing us of their personal struggles to tell us something about humanity. Mel Gibson and Anne Hathaway would have screamed through this; kudos to the subtle and refined Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

Simply put: An astonishing real life story.

Award potential: Watts is the underdog to win Best Actress. Ewan McGregor’s category was too tough for someone who split the screen time with the her, and the film was also robbed of a nomination for Best Visual Effects.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks. Bring tissues.