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CultureWizard Wrote: 'Spotlight' wins Best Picture? What? I didn't see that coming. I thought it was a good film, but nowhere near the quality of 'The Martian', or 'The Revenant', or 'Mad Max', or even 'Bridge of Spies'
I haven't seen it yet either. But I think I have found the (almost) sure fire way to predict the Best Picture winner. Comes down to looking at it in 3 steps, in this order:
1.) Almost always the winner of either the best adapted or original screenplay will win, as that is an indicator as to which film the Academy thinks has the best story to be told. And it seems they want that to win best pic. (as long as the rest of the film is nominated in some or most of the other key categories. Big key there too, they don't have to win; just be nominated)
Spotlight and The Big Short won this year for screenplay. Revenant and Mad Max wasn't even nominated for either. And both The Martian and Bridge of Spies lost. So it was to either be The Big Short or Spotlight, from jump street.
2.) Couple that with looking at if those screenplay winners are also nominated for the key categories of director and editor. Both Spotlight and The Big Short had nominations in both. Doesn't matter that neither won either of those, although that would have been even more telling, if won had one over the other. Just to be nominated means the Academy thought the overall production from direction to editing to producers was very sound, and worth a overall Best Picture win.
Technically impressive films like The Revenant and Mad Max can still sweep all the other awards (directing, visuals, cinematography, sound, etc) but still lose out on the biggest honor. Happens all the time, because Best Picture isn't really about the best technically done film. It's most about asking the question: was the story worth telling, and how well did the producer put all the pieces together to best tell the story (IMO).
Hmmm. Okay. So how do you know who is going to win then, between The Big Short and Spotlight, if they were tied with screenplay, directing and editing noms?
3.) It's an inexact science, but then you would look at the acting awards. Mostly just nominations, not who won. See who the Academy felt had the best cast overall. Worthy of nominating at least.
Spotlight received 2 supporting noms.
The Big Short, only 1.
SOOOO... that's how I was able to determine that Spotlight would win, even though it seemed that most were surprised. I also feel that if they were to release the voting ballot, The Big Short probably came in 2nd.