Oscar Projection Results

January 23, 2007

Well, the predict-o-matic went 4/5 this year, missing only Letters from Iwo Jima (#6 in our poll). Surprisingly, it was Dreamgirls, the one-time buzz front-runner that dropped, and not The Queen. The number 7 movie, United 93, proved to be the odd-man-in and got a best director nomination.

Some thoughts:

1. The biggest failing of this system is its dependency on the guilds to come up with 5 leading contenders. When the PGA and DGA match-up, as happened this year, I will probably be wrong where they’re wrong. In the future, it may be better to develop a formula that leans on critics groups to generate single movie “locks” (which, this year, would have been Departed, Babel, and, you guessed it, Letters), then use the guilds to flesh out the five.

2. My gut told me all along that Iwo would find a way to make it, and that Greengrass would be the odd-man-in (amended to Clint only when the numbers suggested Iwo wouldn’t be best pic; and then, i thought we’d have 3:5 d:p ratio). In the future, I should use the formula only to figure out what the leading contenders are, then go with my instincts, which, correctly told me, not to bet against Eastwood.

3. Why did Dreamgirls falter so? 1) as i’ve said before, the GG-Comedy/musical is not the best indicator of success. More significantly, when the GG voters are wrong, they usually err towards musicals (Evita, Walk the Line). 2) If we assume that in any given year there will only be one c/m slot for best picture (probably true 80% of the time), then the PGA win for LMS would have given that movie the c/m slot, and knocked Dreamgirls out.

4) An initial thought on the BP award….if we go on the best editing theory of best picture winners (that says a movie will only win picture if it is nominated for Best Editing; see “Crash” over “Brokeback”), “The Departed” and “Babel” are the only two contenders. They’re certainly the favorites at this point.

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