5 Stats headlines from the Oscars

The Oscars were back to a more classic form this year, with hosts (yes, real hosts!) and clips from the film as well as an in memoriam section where the work of the people in the section was also being highlighted, although the music choice was a little odd. At Award Stats we generally liked the show, except for the fact that Will Smith becoming the first Oscar winner to slap a presenter on stage overshadowed all. In all fairness this piece of trivia has not been researched, but we are pretty sure it holds up. So for the rest of this post we don’t talk about Will.

The evening also presented several record-breaking moments. Here are five headlines from the world of stats.

1. CODA defies all logic

We have previously touched on the many Oscar conventions that CODA does not live up to. But it’s win for Best Picture really messed up a lot of good Oscar stats.

Most noticeably CODA became the first film with less than four nominations to win since Grand Hotel won with just one nomination in 1932 – a year with only eight categories.

CODA also became the first Sundance film to win Best Picture in the era of the preferential ballot.

CODA became the second film to win Best Picture without an editing nomination since Ordinary People in 1981. The other one was Birdman in 2015.

CODA became the first film with an August release to win Best Picture in the preferential ballot era.

CODA became the third film in the modern era of BAFTA (since 1996) to win a Best Picture Oscar without a Best Picture BAFTA nomination. The two others being Braveheart (1996) and Million Dollar Baby (2005).

With CODA winning all three awards it was nominated for, it became the seventh Best Picture winner to do a clean sweep. The last film to do so was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in 2004, who did the largest clean sweep in history winning 11 awards. CODA’s clean sweep was one of the smallest with only Wings (2 awards) in 1929 and Grand Hotel (1 award) in 1932 making smaller clean sweeps than CODA.

Lastly CODA became the seventh film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination and only the fourth to do so since 1933.

2. VFX perfect record

Dune won unsurprisingly for Best Visual Effects. But the win means that all four visual effects winners in this category have never lost an Oscar.

Brian Connor was nominated for the first time this year, while Tristan Myles and Gerd Nefzer won their second Oscar for their second nomination. But more impressing Paul Lambert won his third award for his third nomination. Lambert joins a large number of people chasing the perfect record, record holder Mark Berger who won four Oscars for four nominations in the Sound category.

3. Few Oscars going to Best Picture nominees

…in theory. The fact is that this year’s Best Picture nominees won an average of 1,4 Oscars each. This is the lowest number since 1944, where the number of categories has roughly been as they are today. However with more Best Picture nominees and fewer categories than many of the recent years it makes sense that this year’s number is low. Four years has previously has an equally low average, but only one (2012) in the preferential ballot era.

4. Makeup defies the guild

Since Makeup and Hairstyllist’s Guild (MHG) restarted their awards in 2014, no film has won the Oscar in the category without a single MHG win. The Eyes of Tammy Faye became the first Oscar winner without a single win at MHG, even though the film was one of four to lead the with three nominations at MHG.

5. Animated Feature race heats up

With Encanto winning Best Animated Feature, Clark Spencer and Byron Howard won their second Oscar in the category after both winning for Zootopia in 2017. They join the ranks of five other people who have won more than one award in this relatively new category (it was instated in 2002). Leading the pack with three Oscars in this category is Pixar legend Pete Doctor who’s latest win was last year for Soul.

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