Data Driven Oscar Predictions 2016

Oscars 2016

How do you predict the Oscar winners? Do you watch all the nominees and weigh up their relative merits? Nothing so simple or subjective here at Mild Concern. We gather data, we analyse it, and then we stay up all night to see if our predictions were right and if Leo and Kate recreate their Titanic pose holding matching statuettes onstage.

Why try to guess when you have maths on your side? According to the BBC it is all the rage these days.

For anyone with no more time to spare my predictions are below and for aspiring data nerds I go into more detail afterwards.

Predicted Winner
The Revenant
Alejandro G Inarritu – The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Brie Larson – Room
Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
The Big Short
Inside Out
Son of Saul

To make my predictions I will be using 14 other awards ceremonies and looking back at how often the winners they chose have overlapped with the eventual Oscar winners since the year 2000. Using this I can see which awards are good at predicting the Oscars in which category and using the award winners so far this year I can see who will win on Sunday night. Simple!

DISCLAIMER: I’ve tried this twice before getting 10/11 right the first time and 6/11 the second; place your bets accordingly.

Best Picture

The Revenant

This is one of the trickiest categories to predict with a variety of films winning predictor awards. Until a few weeks ago Spotlight was in the lead having won three awards but The Revenant jumped into the lead having won the BAFTA which matches the Oscar winner 63% of the time.

Chance of winning: 19%
Runner up: Spotlight (18%)

Best Director

Alejandro G Inarritu
The Revenant

This is another award that was previously veering another direction. Mad Max: Fury Road was cleaning up at various critic’s choice awards but The Revenant stormed into the lead after grabbing the Director’s Guild Award which predicts the Oscar a massive 80% of the time.

Chance of winning: 39%
Runner up: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road(30%)

Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio
The Revenant

There is no real competition here. DiCaprio has won four predictor awards including the SAG and Critics’ Choice awards which each overlapping with the Oscars 73% of the time.

Chance of winning: 61%
Runner up: Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs (12%)

Actress in a Leading Role

Brie Larson

Brie Larson accepts no defeat in her victory-heavy journey to the Oscars. Her chance of going home with the Oscar is even more certain that Leo’s having won a total of five predictor awards for Room. If you haven’t seen the film yet then please do, and take some tissues.

Chance of winning: 62%
Runner up: Charlotte Rampling (15%)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Sylvester Stallone

A close call here with the eternal Rocky star winning three awards to Mark Rylance’s four victories. Luckily Stallone got his hands on the Golden Globe which has a solid 87% overlap with the Oscars.

Chance of winning: 39%
Runner up: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies (30%)

Actress in a Supporting Role

Kate Winslet
Steve Jobs

Alicia Vikander has received a lot of love this awards season but her nominations have been spread between The Danish Girl and her far superior performance in Ex Machina. Winslet has remained focussed and has three predictor awards with 60+% Oscar overlap.

Chance of winning: 43%
Runner up: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl (27%)

Original Screenplay


As the only nominee to win any of my predictor awards there is no competition outside of pure fluke. Not that the Oscars are immune to pure flukes… That said Spotlight has won a total of 5 awards so this is far from a token win.

Chance of winning: 53%

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

A more mixed field for adapted screenplay but The Big Short walked away with the Writers’ Guild Award which is right 73% of the time.

Chance of winning: 40%
Runner up: The Martian (18%)

Animated Feature

Inside Out

Putting The Good Dinosaur firmly behind them Disney Pixar will still win an Academy award on Sunday as Inside Out has won almost all of my predictors including the animation specific Annie Award. This is the award that I feel most confident about.

Chance of winning: 88%
Runner up: Anomalisa (4%)

Foreign Film

Son of Saul

Time to pretend you’ve heard of any of the nominees! Hungarian critical darling Son of Saul is all over this.

Chance of Winning: 43%



This tragic British documentary about Amy Winehouse is set to take home a golden statue despite the protestations of her father. Having won all but one of the key awards nobody else comes close.

Chance of winning: 66%

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