2024 Oscar Nominees: Overall Rankings

A suggested ranking of all 38 feature Oscar nominees based on real world data. I then compare those ratings to the actual nominations and make some observations.
2024 Oscars Movies
2024 Oscar Movies

If you’ve read the previous Essay (What Others Think) you are aware that I use two constructed scales to rank the films based on what audience reaction has been recorded and what film critic aggregates have scored the movies.  The next step in my process is to use those rankings plus my Oscar Quality Index (see Initial Analysis and the OQI) to create a ranking of all 38 movies.  This is based purely on the numbers since I haven’t seen any of the movies yet.

The first step was to create combined score for each movie based on the separate critic and audience ratings and I did that by simply averaging all four rating numbers for each film.  Then, sorting them in descending order we have a pretty good estimate of overall quality.  That list follows.  (Note: Movie type refers to A(Animated), D(Documentary), I(International), and G(General Interest).  Also note *ed items indicate possible critic or audience measurement issues). 

Movie                                              Type.          Score

20 Days in Mariupol                            D                   91

Spider-Man: Across the Spider…       A                  90

Godzilla Minus One                              G                  90

Oppenheimer                                         G                  90

To Kill a Tiger                                        D                  89

Past Lives                                                G                  88

The Boy and the Heron                        A                  88

The Holdovers                                       G                  88

Anatomy of a Fall                                  G                  88

Mission: Impossible – Dead…             G                  87

Perfect Days                                            I                   87

The Eternal Memory                            D                  87

American Fiction                                   G                 87

Killers of the Flower Moon                  G                 86

Poor Things                                            G                  86*

Lo Capitano                                             I                   85

The Zone of Interest                              I/G              85

Robot Dreams                                         A                  85

Four Daughters                                      D                  85

Nimona                                                    A                  84

Bobi Wine: The People’s Pre…            D                 82*

Society of the Snow                                I                  82

Barbie                                                       G                 80

American Symphony                             G                  80

The Color Purple                                    G                 80*

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol3)          G                 80

The Teachers’ Lounge                           I                  79*

May December                                       G                 78

Nyad                                                         G                 77*

Rustin                                                      G                  76

Elemental                                                A                  74*

El Conde                                                  G                  71

Flamin’ Hot                                             G                  71

Indiana Jones and the Dial of…          G                  71

Maestro                                                    G                  70

The Creator                                             G                  69

Golda.                                                       G                  63*

Napoleon                                                 G                  61*

(Methodological Note: Statistics freaks will be happy to point out that in creating this summary number I have averaged numbers which are, themselves, averages.  And by doing so you sort of force what is called a “regression to the mean”.  While that is generally true, I think, in this case, it simply amplifies the individual differences between the numbers and starts, in some sense, to create an interval scale, instead of an ordinal one.)

In reviewing this order, I think it paints a reasonable summary of what critics and audiences think about the films and, I would argue, it can provide an initial ranking of the films.  My intent is to file this list away and ignore it during the movie watching and review process.  But, when I’m all done, I intend to look at my rankings of the 38 films, compare it to this summary ranking and try to identify differences in movie preferences.

More importantly, though is that this rank order gives some interesting perspectives on the Academy’s nomination process and whether it actually does reflect a movie’s objective qualities, or whether something else is going on.

Here are a few bullet points of things I’m seeing in comparing a film’s Oscar Quality Index: OQI (see the first essay), and this summary ranking of audience and critic reactions.

  • Godzilla Minus One, was only nominated for Visual Effects and yet it is the highest rated  general interest film.  Looks to me like the Academy’s bias against science fiction movies might be ignoring some good films.
  • Something similar might be going on for this year’s Mission Impossible… film which both critics and audiences thought highly of, but only received two minor nominations.  Like science fiction, action films don’t receive much academy love even when the critics like them.
  • The Academy almost always takes one of the International Feature entries and throws it into the Best Picture category (last year it was All Quiet on the Western Front from Germany) and sometimes it even wins Best Picture (like Parasite from South Korea).  But how do they make that choice?  This year the choice is The Zone of Interest from the United Kingdom, but Perfect Days from Japan actually has a higher composite score and might be a better movie.
  • Sometimes you can see the dollars flashing on the retinas of academy members.  Barbie, for example, falls in the middle of our rankings, but received 13 OQI points, the fourth highest.  We can’t forget that the Barbenheimer duo almost by themselves saved movie theaters this summer.  May not be the best movie, but it certainly helped Hollywood.
  • Critics and audiences loved Past Lives and it did receive a Best Picture nod, but only one other nomination, for Original Screenplay.  Everybody else seems to think it is a better movie than that.
  • And can anyone explain why Maestro received the fifth highest number of OQI points while being rated fourth from the bottom of all 38 movies by critics and audiences?
  • Napoleon and Golda rank at the bottom of both audience and critics opinion, begging the question of why they were even included in the nominee lists at all.  And yet Napoleon received three, albeit minor, nominations.
  • American Symphony received a single nomination in, my least favorite, Original Song category, but the viewing public seems to think it has other interesting attributes.

In short, there are meaningful takeaways when you compare the Oscar nominees to how the real world views the movies.  I’ve listed a few and we’ll be getting back to them when I review these films individually.

Next up are my actual predictions for who will win each category and why!

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