It’s Oscar season, and people around the world are trying to guess which Academy Awards will go to which films, actors and directors. So with that in mind, we have decided to give you a little background knowledge on how you can up your chances of winning that sweet sweepstake you and your friends are doing, or just having the pride of being right.

Here at Voice, we’re pretty good with data. So rather than just giving you tips, we give you the tools to better foresee who will win yourself (teach a man to fish and all that). That way we don’t take the fun out of it.

The Academy Awards Crowd Pleasers

This might seem like an obvious one, but what we mean is that the Academy actively disadvantages divisive movies.

This is partially due to the Oscars voting system that rewards those films that people like, though might not be passionate about. In 2009 the Academy changed their system from a straight popular vote system to an instant runoff voting or Additional Vote system. Now before you turn off from this sexy subject of voting systems, let us tell you why this is important.

This instant run-off has the 6687 Academy members to rank films as their first, second, third choice etc.

They then eliminate the least popular choices, adding the 2nd votes from those members to the new totals. This continues until one has 50% of the vote +1.

Why is this important? Imagine you are an Academy member. These are the best picture options on your plate:

    • Moonlight

    • La La Land

    • Fences

    • Hidden Figures

    • Lion

    • Hacksaw Ridge

    • Arrival

    • Hell or High Water

    • Manchester By The Sea

Which would you choose as the best movie? Would it be La La Land? Possibly not. Let’s say you chose Moonlight in the first position, would La La Land be in your top 3? Almost certainly yes. This means that your second vote will be counted in the vote if your first choice gets knocked out. Therefore although many people may feel passionately about one film, the one that broadly appeals will likely win. This brings us to our second point:

Hollywood is Narcissistic

Hate to break it to you, but the Academy is full of Hollywood veterans who love Hollywood and the movie business. This isn’t to say that they are any more narcissistic than other industries, just that they like to watch films about things that interest them. If the Academy was full of moody Bostonians then Manchester By The Sea would undoubtedly be pretty popular. However, it is not.

This might explain why it took Leo quite so long to win an Oscar.

The Academy loves movies about showbiz, actors and the like. Since the voting changed in 2009, 2 films about the biz have won – The Artist and Birdman. The same system in now used for nominations, and this trend is obvious. So La La Land looks lucky.

Musicals Do Well

The Golden Age of musicals is gone, certainly. In the 1960s, musicals won Best Picture in 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1968. Since then the only musical that has won was in 2003 with Chicago. However they do very well in nominations, they just haven’t quite crossed the finish line. Could this year be the year?

So What Does This All Mean?

So, we know that nominees tend to win if they have broad appeal. This trend doesn’t just apply to Best Picture, but to performances too. This means that La La Land is likely to clean up, so this is a safe bet for best picture, music and performances. They may not win costume design, as there is an extremely heavy trend for period movies to win this (17 times since 1997) so its a safe bet to go for something set in the past. (Especially as 2 of the years that weren’t won by period movies were instead won by The Lord Of The Rings).

Ultimately, don’t listen to us! We just wanted to share with you our insights on the data over the past few years.

Choose who you believe in and good luck to everyone!

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