Oscar nominations 2016: Harvard grad predicts shortlist with maths

Films that have triumphed at other awards ceremonies, been nominated the most and had the critics raving are hot bets

Jess Denham
Thursday 14 January 2016 10:52 GMT
The Revenant has a solid chance of racking up some Oscar nominations according to maths
The Revenant has a solid chance of racking up some Oscar nominations according to maths

The latest batch of Oscar nominees will be announced on Thursday, with film fans and critics hotly debating which movies, actors and directors will be in the running for gongs.

As hype builds, a Harvard maths graduate writing for The Hollywood Reporter has come up with a “mathematical model” to deduce the list of nominees in the six major categories.

The probability of nomination has been worked out using metrics such as other awards ceremonies and critic scores, with the website insisting that “personal preference” does not play a part.

For example, The Revenant is a hot bet after its Golden Globes success, while the likes of Carol and The Big Short have dropped down the list slightly after failing to take home awards that night. The Martian was snubbed from the Baftas shortlist, so that affects its Oscars probability.

The following predictions have been calculated according to the significance of these predictors in past years:

Best Picture

Spotlight: 99.9%

Mad Max: Fury Road: 99.9%

The Revenant: 99.6%

The Revenant - Trailer

The Big Short: 97.5%

Carol: 93.5%

The Martian: 91.6%

Room: 77.6%

Sicario: 66.3%

Brooklyn: 59.3%

Bridge of Spies: 50.5%

Inside Out: 24.4%

Straight Outta Compton: 18.7%

Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens: 10.3%

Ex Machina: 8.9%

The Danish Girl: 7.8%

Trumbo: 6.2%

Beasts of No Nation: 6.2%

Spy: 5.2%

Trainwreck: 5.2%

Joy: 4.4%

Best Director

Alejandro G. Inarritu — The Revenant: 99.6%

George Miller — Mad Max: Fury Road: 95.3%

Tom McCarthy — Spotlight: 89.9%

Todd Haynes — Carol: 73.1%

Ridley Scott — The Martian: 56.4%

Adam McKay — The Big Short: 24.8%

Steven Spielberg — Bridge of Spies: 6.3%

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant: 88.4%

Matt Damon — The Martian: 86.9%

Michael Fassbender — Steve Jobs: 85.6%

Eddie Redmayne — The Danish Girl: 85.6%

Bryan Cranston — Trumbo: 78.3%

Johnny Depp — Black Mass: 68.1%

Best Actress

Brie Larson — Room: 99.8%

Cate Blanchett — Carol: 90.1%

Saoirse Ronan — Brooklyn: 90.1%

Jennifer Lawrence — Joy: 41.9%

Charlotte Rampling — 45 Years: 10.4%

Charlize Theron — Mad Max: Fury Road: 10.4%

Maggie Smith — The Lady in the Van: 3.4%

Helen Mirren — Woman in Gold: 2.5%

Sarah Silverman — I Smile Back: 2.5%

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance — Bridge of Spies: 88.8%

Idris Elba — Beasts of No Nation: 88.7%

Christian Bale — The Big Short: 82.0%

Sylvester Stallone — Creed: 78.6%

Paul Dano — Love & Mercy: 75.9%

Michael Shannon — 99 Homes: 72.9%

Benicio del Toro — Sicario: 34.0%

Jacob Tremblay — Room: 21.9%

Tom Hardy — The Revenant: 17.2%

Best Supporting Actress

Kate Winslet — Steve Jobs: 88.8%

Rooney Mara — Carol: 88.5%

Alicia Vikander — The Danish Girl: 87.8%

Jennifer Jason Leigh — The Hateful Eight: 59.6%

Alicia Vikander — Ex Machina: 55.2%

Helen Mirren — Trumbo: 46.0%

Rachel McAdams — Spotlight: 7.8%

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