Oscar predictions are an imprecise art

Statues of the Oscars remain in a tent before being transported to the red carpet and Dolby Theatre amid continuing preparations along Hollywood Boulevard on February 27, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

On Sunday, the entertainment industry will descend en masse to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood for the 86th Academy Awards. The winners of the evening – the ones who get the little gold statue – are chosen by the nearly 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts.

It’s an unscientific method, but that doesn’t stop everyone from critics to at-home viewers from making their own guesses as to who will be named an Oscar winner.

“I am bad at predicting” says Wesley Morris, film writer at Grantland. “The question is what you say on Monday morning when your prediction turned out not to be true.”

Morris says while sometimes one nominee is an obvious pick over the competition, "in a lot of categories you’re just like, errr, I’m just going to pick one of the five."

It’s also a bit of a popularity contest. Plus, Morris is skeptical that the Academy actually watches all of nominees.

"Officially, everyone watches everything. If they watched all the movies, different things would win.”

Even though he hates making predictions, Morris did share two – Best Picture and Best Director. His guess is that the Academy will be torn between “12 Years A Slave” and “Gravity”, but that in the end, they’ll give “12 Years” a Best Picture win, and Alfonso Cuarón will pick up a Best Director award for “Gravity.”


About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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