Of the six categories that he predicted—the six big ones, let’s be honest about it, Silver got four right. He got the girls, so to speak—both Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway sailed up on stage, with varying degrees of success, to collect their statuettes. And he nailed Daniel Day-Lewis, whose august portrayal of Lincoln was, Silver felt, the surest of sure things. And he was right for Argo—the real Argo, that is—winning Best Picture. So, where did he slip up?
Ang Lee’s awards shelf will now have a second Best Director Oscar for his Life of Pi—Silver thought Spielberg’s Lincoln would win it. And Christoph Waltz, er, waltzed away with the Best Supporting Actor for his role in Django Unchained. Silver’s money was on Lincoln star Tommy Lee Jones. Still, four out of six ain’t bad. B+.
The full list is below. Did the Oscar committee dole out any surprises for you, or was it just as you thought it would be? Do tell us in the comments, please.
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained.
Animated Short Film: Paperman.
Animated Feature Film: Brave.
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Costume: Anna Karenina.
7. Makeup and Hairstyling: Les Miserables
8. Live Action Short Film: Curfew
9. Documentary (short subject): Inocente
10. Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man
11. Foreign Language Film: Amour
12. Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
14. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables.
15. Editing: Argo
16. Production Design: Lincoln
17. Score: Life of Pi
19. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo.
20. Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
21. Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
22. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
23. Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
24. Picture: Argo
It is probably important to mention that Silver indicated in the blog announcing his predictions that the Best Director was a bit of a toss-up because the candidates that had won most of the major awards - Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow - were not nominated, making it hard for him to draw comparisons with previous awards. Also, using his formula Spielberg was ahead of Lee by a razor thin margin: 0.58 to 0.56. Lastly, Silver stated that due to these challenges picking a winner in the best director category:
"Instead, the method defaults to looking at partial credit based on who was nominated for the other awards most frequently. Among the five directors who were actually nominated for the Oscars, Steven Spielberg (for “Lincoln”) and Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) were nominated for other directorial awards far more often than the others, and Mr. Spielberg slightly more regularly than Mr. Lee. So the method gives the award to Mr. Spielberg on points, but it’s going to be blind luck if we get this one right: you can’t claim to have a data-driven prediction when you don’t have any data."
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