The Oscar nominations came out on Thursday morning, and as of now, it's anybody's race. Some say 12 Years a Slave has it in the bag, while others think American Hustle will snatch the Best Picture trophy. There's no one way to know for sure — does the Academy weigh emotional impact? Flashy performances? The film's lasting message?
How about titles? Yes, you can tell a lot about a film by its title, and about its Oscar chances, too. We've compiled some handy data about each Best Picture nominee's title and what it says about the film's chances come time to hand out the awards. (You can also head over to BBC America to check out this fantastic infographic that predicts the Best Picture winner!)
Movies with the word "America" in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (An American in Paris; American Beauty) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 2 (America, America; American Graffiti)
Movies whose titles refers to a crime or act of duplicity......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (Mutiny on the Bounty; The Sting)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 11 (The Racket; She Done Him Wrong; Imitation of Life; Libeled Lady; Grand Illusion; The Caine Mutiny; The Hustler; Mutiny on the Bounty; The Killing Fields; The Fugitive; Traffic)
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Movies with a main character's surname in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 10 (The Great Ziegfeld; Ben-Hur; Tom Jones; Patton; Annie Hall; Kramer vs. Kramer; Gandhi; Schindler’s List; Forrest Gump; Shakespeare in Love)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 45 (Disraeli; Trader Horn; Arrowsmith; The House of Rothschild; Alice Adams; Captain Blood; David Copperfield; Ruggles of Red Gap; Anthony Adverse; Dodsworth; Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; The Story of Louis Pasteur; The Life of Emile Zola; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Kitty Foyle; Citizen Kane; Here Comes Mr. Jordan; Sergeant York; Mrs. Miniver; The Magnificent Ambersons; Madame Curie; Wilson; Mildred Pierce; Johnny Belinda; Julius Caesar; Mister Roberts; The Diary of Anne Frank; Elmer Gantry; Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Mary Poppins; Doctor Zhivago; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Doctor Dolittle; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Barry Lyndon; Prizzi’s Honor; Jerry Maguire; Good Will Hunting; Saving Private Ryan; Erin Brokovich; Capote; Michael Clayton; Lincoln)
Movies whose titles include a military rank......to win a Best Picture Oscar: o...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 6 (The Smiling Lieutenant; Captain Blood; Captains Courageous; Sergeant York; Saving Private Ryan; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World)
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Movies with a city name in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 4 (Cimarron; Casablanca; An American in Paris; Chicago)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 18 (Hollywood Revue; Shanghai Express; San Francisco; In Old Chicago; The Philadelphia Story; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Casablanca; Roman Holiday; Peyton Place; Judgment and Nuremberg; Chinatown; Nashville; Fargo; L.A. Confidential; Gangs of New York; Munich; Letters from Iwo Jima; Midnight in Paris)
Movies whose titles seem like they should probably have a possessive apostrophe, but don't......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 4 (Boys Town; Kings Row; Dead Poets Society; Howards End)
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are a single intangible noun......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (Crash)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 8 (Alibi; Suspicion; Crossfire; Deliverance; Traffic; Atonement; Inception; Moneyball)
Movies whose titles end in "ity"......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (From Here to Eternity)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 3 (Double Indemnity; Atlantic City; Sense and Sensibility)
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are made up three letters or fewer......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 4 (Z; JFK; Ray; Up)
Movies that have the word "her" in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (Ben-Hur)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 1 (Hannah and Her Sisters)
Paramount via Everett Collection
Movies with U.S. state names in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 2 (In Old Arizona; Mississippi Burning) *Note: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gangs of New York both refer to cities, not states, and the "Virginia" in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a human woman.
We loved Nebraska, but this is really the only one we could think of for it. Sorry, Alexander Payne. Sorry, everybody.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are just a main character's first name......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 5 (Rebecca; Hamlet; Marty; Gigi; Oliver!)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 20 (Skippy; Cleopatra; Ivanhoe; Shane; Fanny; Cleopatra; Alfie; Lenny; Rocky; Julia; Norma Rae; Tess; Bugsy; Babe; Elizabeth; Seabiscuit; Ray; Juno; Precious; Hugo)
Movies whose titles were mispronounced by Leonardo DiCaprio on live television......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 0 (There can be only one Philomania.)
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Movies with numbers in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 6 (It Happened One Night; Around the World in 80 Days; The Godfather Part II; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Million Dollar Baby; Slumdog Millionaire)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 36 (Seventh Heaven; Five Star Final; One Hour with You; 42nd Street; The Private Life of Henry VIII; One Night of Love; Broadway Melody of 1936; A Tale of Two Cities; Three Smart Girls; One Hundred Men and a Girl; Four Daughters; One Foot in Heaven; 49th Parallel; Henry V; Miracle on 34th Street; A Letter to Three Wives; Twelve O’Clock High; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Three Coins in the Fountain; The Ten Commandments; 12 Angry Men; The Defiant Ones; A Thousand Clowns; Anne of the Thousand Days; Five Easy Pieces; Born on the Fourth of July; The Godfather Part III; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Apollo 13; The Sixth Sense; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; District 9; 127 Hours; Toy Story 3; Zero Dark Thirty)
Movies that refer to a unit of time in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (The Best Years of Our Lives; Around the World in 80 Days) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 9 (One Hour with You; Lady for a Day; The Yearling; The Longest Day; Anne of the Thousand Days; Dog Day Afternoon; Remains of the Day; The Hours; 127 Hours)
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Paramount via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles include mention of an animal......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 3 (The Deer Hunter; Dances with Wolves; The Silence of the Lambs)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 17 (Of Mice and Men; The Little Foxes; The Maltese Falcon; The Ox-Bow Incident; The Snake Pit; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Lion in Winter; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Dog Day Afternoon; The Elephant Man; Raging Bull; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Black Swan; War Horse)
Movies whose titles include the name of a street......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (The Broadway Melody) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 5 (42nd Street; The Barretts of Wimpole Street; Broadway Melody of 1936; Miracle on 34th Street; Sunset Boulevard)
Cast your bets, folks. Captain Phillips looks like it has this one locked down.
*Special thanks to Hollywood.com writers Julia Emmanuele and Jordan Smith for helping to compile data and entertaining the madness of this post, and to our CTO Greg Zimerman for recovering hours of work after my Word Doc crashed. You're a hero, Greg.
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Cas is back. He may have officially reunited with the Winchesters last episode, but the Cas we all know and love was in full force Wednesday night in “Hunteri Heroici.” He had so many hilarious one-liners and was the best version of himself fans have come to love (when he hasn’t been missing, or filled with leviathans, or depressed, or angry). He was downright funny. And he got to try his hand at being a hunter! The third wheel in this equation wasn’t a bad thing, regardless of what Dean says.
And when you combine that with the fact that the episode revolved around deaths straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, you end up with one of the best episodes of this season so far. I say “one of the" best and not “the” best, because this season has already served up pretty amazing dark episodes, and you can’t compare that with a funny-yet-poignant hour in a fair fight. So they get equal amounts of love in my book.
But this episode definitely goes in the hall of fame of Supernatural silly-concept episodes that totally end up working. “Hunteri Heroici” now joins the ranks of “The End” (featuring a stoner orgy-loving Cas), “Fallen Idols” (Paris Hilton as a demon?), “It’s a Terrible Life” (corporate yuppie Dean), “Hollywood Babylon” (making fun of being on a show set), “Hell House” (first appearance of the Ghostfacers!), “The Real Ghostbusters” (poking fun at Supernatural fan conventions and the show itself), “Changing Channels” (parodying every popular TV show), and the all-time champion, “The French Mistake” (making fun of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and the entire cast and crew of Supernatural). You are in great company, “Hunteri Heroici.” [SIDE NOTE: Try saying "Hunteri Heroici" five times fast. Also, I'm trying to see how many times I can write "Hunteri Heroici" in one article. I'm doing pretty good so far!]
While cartoon scenarios are fun to watch on TV, it turns out that they can be quite deadly in reality. One of Dean and Sam’s dad’s old friends was Fred Jones, a psychokinetic now nearly catatonic and living in a retirement home, so his powers were making reality around him echo the cartoons he watches. He wasn’t even aware of what he was doing, a nice twist from villains who actually intend to cause harm. Fred’s powers make one man’s heart jump out of his chest, an anvil drop out of the sky onto a security officer, a cake explode, Dean’s gun shoots a “Bang!” flag instead of bullets, a talking cat, etc. And each scenario was lethal. Sam and Cas went into Fred’s mind and made him aware of what he was doing. He agreed it was time to get rid of his powers. He can’t stop the aging process or his mind from deteriorating, but he can stop hurting people if he no longer has his powers. Cas takes his powers from him, and he’s left to age gracefully in the retirement home, a danger to no one.
Something I wasn’t expecting to see this hour was more flashbacks to Sam’s year without Dean. It seemed we were done with these until Sam reunites with Amelia (which I assume is going to happen). So it was startling when we were given more glimpses at Sam and Amelia’s dinner with her father. It wasn't clear where this was going until the very end, when Amelia got a call that her dead husband Don wasn’t quite as dead as we all thought. However, we know Sam and Amelia were together when Dean busted out of Purgatory, since he left her bed in the middle of the night to reunite with his brother. Is Don really alive, or is this some ruse by a demon or another supernatural element? Or maybe Don is alive, but Amelia stays with Sam. Either way, what a great way to actually make me care about Sam’s “normal” life away from hunting!
I’m still not sure what’s going on with Heaven. Cas was called up to Naomi’s office again, but we weren’t given any more clues as to why he’s being manipulated like this, forced to report on the Winchesters’ actions and then having his memory wiped. And it’s killing me that Cas has no idea that it’s happening to him, either.
And I can’t let this react end before quoting my favorite exchange of the hour. I was literally howling with laughter from this gem: Dean: “What’s the word, Cas?” Cas: “It’s a shortened version of my name.”
Well, that’s all folks.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
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