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).