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Coming off of last weekend's Golden Globe Awards it would seem like the musical La La Land is the film to beat. However, one company has now used an interesting method to predict who the Best Picture will be at the Oscars, and it's not a musical at all. According to the methodology, Jackie, the film starring Natalie Portman as the former first lady, appears to be the film likely to take home the Academy Awards' biggest prize.
The company is called Luminoso Technologies and their focus is on analyzing language so that businesses can respond to customer feedback faster. As an example of their process, they analyzed user reviews on IMDB of the top 50 films between 2013 and 2015. The idea was to look for language that tended to be used in reviews of the films that eventually went on to be nominated for Acadamy Awards. According to Variety, there was a positive correlation between nominations and words like "cinematography," "masterpiece," and "experience." After all the reviews were analyzed, the data was crunched to rank the 2016 films in order of their likelihood of being nominated for Best Picture. Jackie came out on top.
To be fair, La La Land is in a solid position as the third most likely film to receive a nomination, and since we know the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be nominating a full 10 films this year, we can guess it will make the cut. The other film that came out on top of La La Land, however, is one that Damien Chazelle's musical may really need to contend with. While Jackie hasn't necessarily been part of most people's Oscar talk, Moonlight has been, and they came in the spot following Jackie . While most of the movies at the top of the list are likely Oscar contenders, there are a few that are a surprise. Sully is on the list in the number five spot while Snowden is number eight. This would put them both in the Best Picture hunt. While both films have a lot in common with traditional Oscar nominees, the buzz surrounding them has not been as high as several other movies. More likely Oscar contenders, like Arrival and Manchester by the Sea fall bellow the top ten threshold which would put them out of Oscar contention if this list was actually nominated as predicted. The film that beats them out is probably the most surprising. The number ten spot goes to Disney's The Jungle Book.
We'll know how close this analysis got when the Academy Award nominations are announced January 24. We're guessing this list might be pretty close to accurate, which is impressive considering how they came by their list. This is obviously a publicity stunt to show off their company's capabilities, but if they end up being right, they will have succeeded.