2017 Oscars Prediction Recap

24 participants competed and produced some interesting results.

Mark Febrizio
Mar 2, 2017 · 5 min read

The 89th Academy Awards are over, and the results for the Movie Musing Prediction Pool are in! 24 individuals joined in the fun, but only one came out on top.

Here’s how the scores broke down with some specific insights into how accurately our participants guessed in the major Oscar categories!

Overall Scores

This round of Oscars had a fair share of no-brainer picks, such as Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali, but the biggest shoo in category this year was Best Original Score, where 21 participants (87.5%) correctly guessed La La Land. Of course, there were also some hard categories to guess, like Best Actor or Costume Design — the biggest stumper was an upset: Best Editing, which went to Hacksaw Ridge. Only 3 people successfully picked that one.

The winner of the pool — Jackson Hoffman — was able to surpass Mark and Quentin’s 16 correct guesses with an impressive 17 out of 24. Jackson’s bracket was unusual as he picked Manchester to win Best Picture and Director, but it didn’t matter since he swept all the difficult minor categories, including: Costume Design, Live Action Short Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Documentary (Short Subject).

Meanwhile, Demetrios finished with 11 correct predictions, which was higher than the most common score of 10, but just below the average score of 11.70833.

And now for the “Big Five” Academy Awards: Best Picture, Directing, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, and Screenplay (either Adapted or Original).

Best Picture

La La Land entered the night as the heavy favorite to win Best Picture (in a way, it did win for a brief moment), but the critically acclaimed Moonlight pulled off an unexpected win.

In our pool, La La Land was also favored with 14 votes, although perhaps not to the same extent as the experts presumed. Moonlight received five, Manchester by the Sea took in three, and Arrival and Hidden Figures got one each.

The four remaining nominees — Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, and Lion — weren’t predicted to win by any participants.

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — La La Land

Jackson — Manchester

Mark — La La Land

Quentin — La La Land


Even though La La Land didn’t win Best Picture, Damien Chazelle took home the award for his superb work Directing that film. Movie Musing participants agreed and a majority of 15 out of 24 people predicted he’d win.

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) got six, Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) got two, and Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) got one, while unfortunately Denis Villeneuve didn’t get any recognition for his brilliant work in Arrival.

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — Chazelle

Jackson — Lonergan

Mark — Chazelle

Quentin — Chazelle

Actor in a Leading Role

Out of the 24 entries, 13 people chose Casey Affleck — the award recipient — for his role in Manchester.

Denzel Washington, nominated for Fences, received nine votes even though he was generally considered a slight favorite entering the ceremony. Ryan Gosling (La La Land) was a distant third and only received two votes.

The two remaining Best Actor nominees, Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) didn’t get any pre-awards love from participants.

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — Affleck

Jackson — Affleck

Mark — Washington

Quentin — Affleck

Actress in a Leading Role

With 17 votes, Emma Stone (La La Land) was the overwhelming favorite among participants, a confidence that was also reflected by the Academy.

Natalie Portman (Jackie) was picked four times, the oft-nominated Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) received two votes, and French performer Isabelle Huppert (Elle) got one. Despite her acclaimed role in Loving, Ruth Negga was shut out.

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — Stone

Jackson — Stone

Mark — Stone

Quentin — Stone

Screenplay (Adapted)

Moonlight, which was adapted for the screen by Barry Jenkins, took home the writing award for Adapted Screenplay — a prediction made by 14 pool voters. Only 23 of our participants selected an entry, so the rest of the numbers worked out to be three for Fences (August Wilson), three for Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder & Theodore Melfi), two for Arrival (Eric Heisserer), and only one for Lion (Luke Davies).

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — Fences

Jackson — Moonlight

Mark — Moonlight

Quentin — Moonlight

Screenplay (Original)

Half of our participants incorrectly selected La La Land, which was also written by director Chazelle, while eight people picked the winner — Lonergan’s Manchester. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou) took two votes, and 20th Century Women (Mike Mills) and Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan) each got one.

Notable Picks:

Demetrios — La La Land

Jackson — La La Land

Mark — Manchester

Quentin — Manchester

Thanks to all who joined us in the competition! If you participated and want to know your own score, please reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Also, listen to our post-Oscar reactions on the Movie Musing podcast on SoundCloud.

Thanks for reading! You can follow us on Twitter and check out our podcast, Movie Musing, for more analysis. Edited by Mark Febrizio, Demetrios Festa, and Quentin Hoffman.

Movie Musing

Exploring the world of film and what film reveals about our world.

Mark Febrizio

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Researching economics & regulatory policy. Film aficionado. Thinks too much, writes too little.

Movie Musing

Exploring the world of film and what film reveals about our world.