Numlock Awards: How BAFTA and Critics Choice finalized our acting race forecast
Numlock Awards is your one-stop awards season newsletter. Every week, join Walt Hickey and Michael Domanico as they break down the math behind the Oscars and the best narratives going into film’s biggest night. Today’s edition comes from Walter.
Keeping it very brief today, we’ll have more next weekend but here’s the latest on how this weekend’s BAFTA and Critics Choice Awards steer our views of the race based on the model.
Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose has won all four precursors. No matter which way you slice it, we have our frontrunner for Oscar night here.
Best Supporting Actor
Troy Kotsur keeps up the momentum with wins at BAFTA and Critics Choice. Earlier this year I wrote about the Golden Globes historically being actually useful in this category and my curiosity about how this year might reveal the extent of their value. Looks like we’re going to get an incredible test of that predictive power this year.
Jane Campion had a massive weekend, mainly by scooping up the win at the DGA. It’s not exactly the Chloe Zhao-tier momentum we saw last year, but that was pretty much the best award season anyone had on record, and Campion’s tear is looking pretty damn close. She’s a lock so long as she doesn’t make any weird viral remarks in public speeches comparing her career challenges to someone else’s in a way that is perceived as diminishing the magnitude of their accomplishmen— hey, hold up, why are Venus Williams and Jane Campion both trending on Twitter?
Will Smith had exactly the kind of awards season you want to have if you want to win the Oscar, he’s the closest thing to a lock you’re going to get in this.
The real show was SAG for this — recall that the BAFTAs are the most-predictive prize in this category by a long shot, but didn’t actually nominate any of the Oscar-nominated women this year — but her win at the Critics Choice cements Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) as the leader here.
But like I mentioned, we’re working with less data than usual here so I’m a little less certain, she’s a leader not a lock.
Stellar weekend for The Power of the Dog, no way around that. The big predictive show, the Producers Guild, is this coming weekend, we’ll see if that tips us off that the movie is pretty much set, or if there’s still a real race here.
Last year I got really in the weeds about how the Oscars vote to pick Best Picture and how that affects our view of the field. The way the Oscars vote on Best Picture means the question is less “do a majority of voters love the movie” and more “do a majority of voters like the movie,” and we’re seeing great evidence that all kinds of voters like The Power of the Dog. Based on its present lead, it will invariably be the favorite going into Oscar night. But the ranked-choice vote also means that any movie that’s in the top two or perhaps even three is a real contender, so we do care a ton about what goes down at PGA and even WGA.
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