Past Is Prologue? ‘American Sniper’ Has Best Chance To Win Oscar: MovieGraph

EXCLUSIVE: American Sniper has the best chance to win the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday, according to a complex analysis of the components underlying this year’s nominees and the past decade’s winners by Senzari, a big-data company specializing in movies and music. The Imitation Game has the second-best chance of winning under the company’s analysis.

The company’s MovieGraph technology, which tracks and analyzes components of thousands of films, looked at this year’s nominees by box office and narrative elements – themes like “man vs. man,” for instance, along with a film’s tone and genre – and compared them with the winners of the past 10 years.

Under that analysis, Sniper has a 43 percent chance of winning, Senzari prognosticated. That’s even though all awards season, it’s been the “three Bs” – Boyhood, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel – scooping up just about all the precursor award equivalents from various guilds and critics groups. Under the MovieGraph analysis, The Imitation Game has a 30 percent chance to win (see the cool interactive graphic at the bottom of the story for more).

“While there’s no algorithm that can consider the politics and bias that could sway Oscar voting, from a statistical view, MovieGraph thinks American Sniper has a great shot,” said Senzari CEO Bill Hajjar.
Hajjar said MovieGraph’s analysis looks primarily at the most popular narrative elements in the past 10 Best Picture winners. It also gives extra weight for stronger box-office performance, obviously a big component for American Sniper, which has far outgrossed its competition.
Moreover, half the past 10 Best Picture winners had “tragedy” plots, and the winners typically have had themes of “belief/motivation” and “morality,” all of which can be found in large amounts in Sniper, Hajjar said. Put all that together and Senzari thinks it might know who’s winning Sunday.

Senzari created the nifty interactive graphic below. Click on the buttons for each film in each segment of the graphic to see what made the film distinctive, then at the bottom, click on each to see Senzari’s estimate of each film’s odds. This graphic likely will display best on a desktop computer rather than a smart phone. And no guarantees these predictions will help you win your Oscar party pool.

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