And the Oscar Will Go To ...

Nate Silver brings cold, hard statistics to movies' biggest night

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 22, 2013 12:49 PM CST

(Newser) – Nate Silver has quantified baseball, politics, and the Super Bowl (that last one not so successfully)—and now he turns his big geeky brain to the Academy Awards, trying to sort out the signal and the noise for the year's biggest movies in the New York Times. Just as elections use polls to predict the final outcome, Silver uses the other major awards to survey the field, weighing those awards based on how well they've matched with the Oscars in the past.

Among Silver's predictions:

  • Best Picture: Argo is far and away the favorite.
  • Best Director: Steven Spielberg with Lincoln tops the survey (but just barely beating Ang Lee for Life of Pi).
  • Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis is also overwhelming for Lincoln.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway is another big favorite for crying and dying in Les Misérables. "Anne Hathaway [is] about as safe a bet to win for Les Misérables as Mitt Romney was to win Utah," writes Silver. "If Sally Field or Amy Adams wins instead, it will probably be time for me to retire from the Oscar-forecasting business."
See all his predictions here.

An Oscar statue is seen in front of the Oscar Green Room for the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, yesterday.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
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