Are the Best Picture Nominees Falling Into a Formula?

On Thursday we will publish an exclusive dialogue between two of the internet’s liveliest Oscar trackers, Nathaniel Rogers of The Film Experience and Nick Davis of Nick’s Flick Picks. In addition to dishing out their Best Picture predictions and favorites, they’ll be reading between the lines of the nominations to point out what it says about the Academy’s predilections.

One part of the upcoming exchange that deserves its own spotlight is Nick’s side-by-side comparision of last year’s nominees to this year’s. Last year was the first time in decades that the Academy upped the Best Picture field to ten nominees; looking at this year’s field, NIck has already pointed out a pattern. Remarkably, Nick has found a one-to-one thematic correlation between each of this year’s and last year’s nominees.

To what extent is it pure coincidence and how much of it is conscious (or sub-conscious) effort to recognize particular movie types (as well as their audiences?) How many of these can we expect next year – can the Coens and Pixar extend their streak?




Alternative Family Dramedy

The Blind Side

The Kids are All Right

Topical Capitalist Character Study

Up In the Air

The Social Network

Macho Auteurist Pulp

Inglourious Basterds

The Fighter

Girl Power Sundance Sensation

Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” By Sapphire

Winter’s Bone

Super-Expensive F/X Spectacular



Coen Brothers

A Serious Man

True Grit

Nice English Movie

An Education

The King’s Speech

Nutso Genre Midnight Freakout

District 9

Black Swan



Toy Story 3

Adrenalin Junkie Desert Drama

The Hurt Locker

127 Hours

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