Twitter predicts the 2013 Academy Award winners

We gauged each nominee's Twitter buzz to see how well social media predicts the Academy Award winners on Feb. 24.


Kris Holt


Published Jan 10, 2013   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 3:55 am CDT

The Academy Award nominees were released Thursday morning, and Twitter is abuzz with conversation about who did and didn’t make the cut.

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We looked at stats from social-media search engine Topsy after nominees were revealed to gauge each nominee’s buzz*—and on Feb. 24, we’ll see how well Twitter predicted the winners.

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Best Picture

Lincoln: 6,749 mentions

Amour: 5,504 mentions

Life of Pi: 2,378 mentions

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Argo: 1,075 mentions

Les Misérables: 890 mentions

Zero Dark Thirty: 684 mentions

Beasts of the Southern Wild: 546 mentions

Django Unchained: 459 mentions

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Silver Linings Playbook: 420 mentions

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Unless there are a lot of schoolkids turning in a report on the 16th president of the U.S. today, Lincoln is the clear leader.

Amour had a lot of mentions as well, but that might have something to do with it also being the very common French word for “love.” It seems somewhat surprising, however, that a film like Silver Linings Playbook, packed with big names, would be less talked-about than the low-budget independent flick Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln: 955 mentions

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Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook: 646 mentions

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables: 327 mentions

Denzel Washington, Flight: 316 mentions

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master: 310 mentions

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Day-Lewis is the early front-runner, garnering almost 1.5 times as many mentions as second-place Cooper. Phoenix, who believes the whole Oscars palaver “bullshit,” trails just behind the mighty Washington.

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Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook: 1,324 mentions

Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild: 405 mentions

Naomi Watts, The Impossible: 341 mentions

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Emmanuelle Riva, Amour: 333 mentions

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty: 246 mentions

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Jennifer Lawrence, perhaps Hollywood’s hottest young star after the success of The Hunger Games, has no real interest in Twitter. If she did, she might have seen her name all over the place this morning. Chastain, considered the front-runner by some, lagged with less than a fifth of tweets that were about Lawrence.

Best Director

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Ang Lee, Life of Pi: 1,655 mentions

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln: 312 mentions

Michael Haneke, Amour: 198 mentions

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook: 133 mentions

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild: 97 mentions

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Lee, the man behind the wonderful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has a shot at his second Best Director award, and the Twitter buzz indicates he’d be a popular choice. The venerable Spielberg was runner-up, and surprise nominee Zeitlin rounded out the top five. For the record, Ben Affleck, a widely expected choice, was mentioned 222 times in the same timeframe.

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There’s still a long way to go until the big night, and as discussion of the nominees sways like the boat in Life of Pi, a lot can still be said to influence voters.

*A caveat: This only covers the correct spelling of the nominees’ full names—sorry, “Ben Zeitlin.”

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Photo by ebbandflowphotography/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2013, 2:11 pm CST