2013 Oscars Predictions: Nate Silver, the Stats Wizard Who Aced the Presidential Election, Reveals the Winners?
If you followed the 2012 presidential election in any capacity, you've most likely heard of Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog. Even if you didn't specifically read his columns, you definitely heard about how he successfully predicted the outcome of the election in every single state using math and statistics. That's wildly impressive and Mr. Silver deserved all the acclaim that came his way. But now he has a much more difficult and demanding task ahead of him: predicting the 2013 Oscars!
Silver has attempted to predict the Oscars twice in the past few years, with mixed results both times. This year, though, he's trying out a new system, measuring each nominee's strength based on their nominations and wins in previous awards ceremonies, giving more weight to wins and nods if they come from "insider" groups (like SAG or the DGA) rather than "outsider" groups (like the Golden Globes and critics groups).
Once he crunched all of the numbers, here's what he came up with...
First, he predicts the obvious. 'Argo' will win Best Picture. No contest. It's the clear frontrunner and has swept the insider awards. He places 'Zero Dark Thirty' in a distant second, but come on: it's 'Argo.'
The Best Director category is trickier, since supposed frontrunners Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow aren't even nominated, so Silver gives the edge to Steven Spielberg for 'Lincoln' with Ang Lee for 'Life of Pi' trailing in a very, very close second.
Best Actor is another clear sweep: based on the stats, Daniel Day-Lewis has his third Oscar in the bag for 'Lincoln.' Like the Best Picture category, there isn't even a close runner-up.
Best Actress is another tricky category with a lot of unstable elements, but Silver ultimately gives the edge to Jennifer Lawrence for 'Silver Linings Playbook.' He also notes the momentum of Jessica Chastain's performance in 'Zero Dark Thirty' and Emmanuelle Riva's work in 'Amour,' but the numbers don't lie. At least not yet.
Finally, he tackles another tricky category with Best Supporting Actor, ultimately giving the edge to Tommy Lee Jones' work in 'Lincoln,' mainly because his main competition, Christoph Waltz, was snubbed at the SAGs.
The whole article is fascinating and well worth your time to read, especially if you're an Oscar nut or fan of poring over statistics. If Silver is right, he could revolutionize how people predict film awards, much like how he's revolutionized how people predict elections. However, the Academy, much like the American public, can be a fickle and hard to predict beast. We'll see what goes down this Sunday!