Yahoo! thinks they've decoded the mysterious voting process for the Academy Awards and it's all based on the strength of search trends related to nominees. The search data is a pretty good measure of what the public favors the most, but whether that reflects the will of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Based on the fact that Yahoo! users searched for it more than any of the other Best Picture nominee, the company is predicting "War Horse" to be the winner for the award. The movie had 80% more searches than the second-ranked Best Picture contender, "The Arist." As search data goes, "War Horse" also blew away the search data for the other Best Picture contenders, "The Tree of Life," "Hugo," and "Midnight in Paris."
“’War Horse’ seems to be the fan favorite, but this is a competitive category,” said Thelma Adams, contributing editor for Yahoo! Movies. “’Hugo’ has broad appeal, but at the end of the night I think ‘The Artist’ has the best shot this year. ‘The Help’ is also a frontrunner, but it is showing a little bit of weakness as it was not nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.”
As for Best Actress and Best Actor, Yahoo! applied a similar method to predict who will receive those awards. According to their data, Yahoo! picks Rooney Mara and Brad Pitt for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively.
“Brad Pitt is winning when it comes to searches, but I don’t think ‘Moneyball’ is going to win him the Oscar this year," says Adams. “Clooney, on the other hand, wants it and I think he will get it. And, if I just went for performances, I'd vote for Gary Oldman, who is such a complete chameleon.”
As for the Best Actress category, Adams adds, “This will be a close call, and not for Mara, my vote is Viola Davis, just barely edging out Meryl Streep.”
The Internet: like looking into a future-telling sieve.