Oscars: Who’s in and Who’s Out?

In just a few short days, we’ve seen the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the Golden Globes) announce their nominees. These are widely considered to be the three biggest precursors to the Oscars, and they’re often very telling as to who will eventually be nominated. I did a little number-crunching and came up with some statistics that might help us figure out who’s getting an Oscar nomination, and who’s going to be left out in the cold. (I’m getting all Moneyball on this shit now.)

Best Actor

Locked: Clooney, DuJardin, Pitt

Very Likely: DiCaprio. He got all three major precursors, and in the past four years, only three actors have received that honour and then missed out on the Oscar nomination (Mila Kunis last year, and Ryan Gosling and Angelina Jolie in 2007).

The Rest: With Birchir getting a surprise SAG nom (but still being a longshot for an Oscar nom), it leaves things a bit open. The most likely pick in Fassbender in Shame, who hit 2 out of 3 precursors (which usually equals an Oscar nomination), but I still wouldn’t completely discount Oldman, who could pull off the all-or-nothing slot this year (in the past four years, there has been at least one actor to receive an Oscar nomination with no support from the three major precursors). Gosling is probably stretched too thin, since he has three nominations for three separate performances, and will likely suffer from vote-splitting.

Best Actress

Locked: Davis, Streep, Williams

Very Likely: Swinton

The Rest: As for the fifth spot, it seems to be between Close and Theron. My money is on Close, who got the SAG nom. Each year (on average) only 2-3 of the acting nominees get in without a SAG nomination, which really hurts Theron’s chances. Olsen is out (in the past four years, no actor has gotten an Oscar nomination with only a BFCA nod to their name), and Mara isn’t likely, either (Saoirse Ronan is the only actor in the past four years to get an Oscar nom with only a GG nom).

Best Supporting Actor

Locked: Plummer

Very Likely: Branagh, Brooks (he’ll likely still be nominated even without the SAG, but his chances of winning seem to be shot. No Oscar winning performance of the past four years missed out on any of the three major precursors)

The Rest: This category is still a mess, which is great. There are two spots that are wide open, and while Nick Nolte looks like a likely bet, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he missed out. But what about that fifth spot? Hill seems like the safest bet, since he got a SAG and Golden Globe nomination. But what about Armie Hammer? He’s a more “serious” young actor than Jonah Hill, and the Academy sometimes likes to recognize up-and-comers. Hammer’s chances are dampened by only having the SAG nomination to his name, though. In the past four years, only Ruby Dee and John Hawkes got into the Oscar line-ups with just a SAG nomination to their name, and Hammer is hardly the established actor that those two are. Mortensen’s a longshot, and Oswalt and Serkis are almost non-factors at this point. Von Sydow could slip in, but he has no momentum at this point, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’s buzz seems to be all but dead (but that might just be because it hasn’t screened much yet?)

Best Supporting Actress

Locked: Spencer

Very Likely: Bejo (I could see her pulling a Mila Kunis and missing out entirely), Chastain, Woodley (hurt by the SAG snub, could go the Andrew Garfield route?)

The Rest: In all likelihood, there is one spot left. And in all likelihood, either McCarthy or McTeer will snag it. My money is tentatively on McTeer at this point (it’s hard to ignore the SAG/Globe one-two punch), but it’s definitely not set in stone. Redgrave is also a possible spoiler, seeing as the same high-profile-actor/no-profile-movie thing worked for Javier Bardem last year and Tommy Lee Jones in 2007. Mulligan is out (BFCA only = no Oscar nomination), and Bullock’s is extremely unlikely.

A Few More Oscar Stats

  • Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to get an Oscar nomination with NO pre-cursor support than with only one of the three. In the past for years, Javier Bardem, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Laura Linney, and Tommy Lee Jones all received an Oscar nomination despite missing out on the three major precursors. Only John Hawkes, Ruby Dee, and Saoirse Ronan snagged an Oscar nomination after receiving support from one of the three precursors.
  • While Kunis, Gosling, and Jolie missed out on an Oscar nomination after getting support from all three precursors, no actor in the past four years has received ONLY a SAG and a Golden Globe nomination and then went on to snubbed by the Oscars. This bodes extremely well for Glenn Close, Jonah Hill, and Janet McTeer, who were all somewhat on the fringes of their categories before yesterday’s announcement. Now that they have a SAG and a Globe nomination, one would think that their Oscar nomination is secure?
  • Fassbender, Gosling, Theron, Brooks, Nolte, McCarthy, and Woodley are much more vulnerable. While they have 2/3 precursors, they either missed out on the SAG or the Golden Globe nomination. Except for 2008 (where no one with 2/3 or better missed out on an Oscar nomination), there are at least two actors every year who miss out on the Oscar nom with 2/3 precursors. There has to be at least two who miss out this year (three, if you count Gosling precursor nominations for multiple films), just based on the way the precursors have played out.

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