Wed. Sep 30th, 2020

A Look Back: What AwardsWatch Was Predicting a Year Ago

From left to right; Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz
From left to right; Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz

As we about to embark on the nonstop train that is the awards season, I took a look back at where AwardsWatch (then still AwardsDaily Forums) was in their predictions prowess. This was before any industry nominations or critics’ bodies had bestowed their awards and everything we had was based on buzz and intuition.

What you’ll find are some spot on predictions (including one 5/5 set) and one category that shows the tumultuousness and change that can happen within the season leading up to the actual Oscar nominations.

Since our forum polls are voting based we provide a percentage vote (just like you see on the front page and in the prediction pages) as in, “Anne Hathaway – 95%,” meaning that 95% of the voters in the forums believed Hathaway was getting a nomination. Now, these numbers have =/- of three to four percent for those certain members who sometimes vote strategically. Meaning, they might be stanning for a single actress or performance and only vote for that one in an effort to sway results. It’s a small amount but something that needs to be accounted for and recognized.

Without further ado, here are the results from one year ago on last year’s race:


Pretty locked category for AwardsWatch, with just Amour falling outside the eventual top 9. That film ended up surprising and over-performing last year in the best way possible.  The Master proved simply too much for the Academy, despite nominating in three acting categories.

01. Lincoln… 99%
02. Argo (WINNER)… 98%
03. Les Misérables… 95%
04. Silver Linings Playbook… 95%
05. Zero Dark Thirty… 94%
06. Life of Pi… 90%
07. Beasts of the Southern Wild… 64%

08. The Master… 55%
09. Django Unchained… 30%
10. The Impossible… 24%
11. Moonrise Kingdom… 13%
12. Amour… 11% 


While virtually no one could have predicted the scandalous snubs of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow (guess someone rebuilt that glass ceiling), the stink of Les Misérables hadn’t been discovered yet and Hooper was still very much in the game. Russell, even coming off a Best Director nomination, was an outlier because no one quite knew, or expected, the huge response that Silver Linings Playbook would have both critically and financially. First-timers Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin being announced by Seth MacFarlane on Oscar nomination morning sent shock waves across Hollywood.

01. Steven Spielberg… 97%
02. Ben Affleck… 89%
03. Tom Hooper… 87%
04. Kathryn Bigelow… 75%
05. Ang Lee (WINNER)… 63%
06. David O. Russell… 44%

07. Paul Thomas Anderson… 20%
08. Michael Haneke… 12%

Benh Zeitlin… Not included


John Hawkes had all the precursors in the bag but the watershed performance of Silver Linings Playbook at the box office combined with Harvey Weinstein’s impeccable and relentless campaign knocked him out in favor of Bradley Cooper.

01. Daniel Day Lewis (WINNER)… 97%
02. Joaquin Phoenix… 95%
03. Denzel Washington… 81%
04. Hugh Jackman… 80%

05. John Hawkes… 68%
06. Bradley Cooper… 50%


For the second year in a row, AD/AW had correctly predicted this category before any precursor being given. Never, ever underestimate AW’s love/fascination/obsession with actresses.

01. Jennifer Lawrence (WINNER)… 90%
02. Jessica Chastain… 86%
03. Quvenzhané Wallis… 80%
04. Naomi Watts… 53%
05. Emmanuelle Riva… 50%


A category rife with early frontrunners that failed to measure up and a campaign that changed mid-course. While many people chalk up DiCaprio’s lack of nomination to Django Unchained being screened too late, that certainly didn’t stop Waltz from not only getting that supporting actor nomination but the win. Originally campaigned as Lead (and he was certainly a co-lead), Weinstein changed his positioning and Waltz in mid-December, pushing him instead for supporting, which was the real death knell for DiCaprio. Redmayne suffered from early enthusiasm that Les Mis was going to be a juggernaut come nomination morning, which it was not.

01. Tommy Lee Jones… 96%
02. Philip Seymour Hoffman… 90%
03. Robert De Niro… 84%

04. Leonardo DiCaprio… 68%
05. Eddie Redmayne… 56%
06. Alan Arkin… 36%

Christoph Waltz (WINNER)… Not included 


By all accounts, Anne Hathaway was crowned the winner of this category the day she and the film was announced back in March of 2012. All others were just getting a participant ribbon. As with Eddie Redmayne in supporting actor, Samantha Barks’ chances were buoyed by early positive response and for having the most well-known song of the musical. Those dreams were quickly dashed and she was left on her own. Multiple Oscar nominee and winner Maggie Smith seemed to have a good shot for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for playing an invalid old racist. For a role that should have been relatable to the majority of AMPAS she surprisingly missed out. Nicole Kidman garnered SAG and Golden Globe nominations for her brilliantly trashy performance in The Paperboy (or is it Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy now?) but it proved a bit much for the academy. Riding in on the coattails of the love for Silver Linings Playbook, previous nominee Jacki Weaver was the fifth nominee, much to the surprise of most Oscar predictors last year. Kudos to those few who got that Oscar office pool win.

01. Anne Hathaway (WINNER)… 95%
02. Sally Field… 93%
03. Helen Hunt… 93%
04. Amy Adams… 67%

05. Samantha Barks… 47%
06. Maggie Smith… 30%
07. Amanda Seyfried… 30%
08. Kerry Washington… 8%
09. Nicole Kidman… 7%
10. Other… 6%
11. Judi Dench… 3%
12. Jacki Weaver… 2%


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