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If Critics Picked the Oscars, Here’s Who Would Win on February 24th

If Critics Picked the Oscars, Here's Who Would Win on February 24th

The winners of the 85th Annual Academy Awards won’t be announced until February 24th, but if you want to know who would win if the critics voted, I can tell you that right now. Using the grades and reviews submitted to us by the members of our Criticwire Network, I’ve put together a bunch of “If They Picked the Winners” lists: Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Animated Feature, and Best Foreign Language Film.

The Criticwire Network uses letter grades rather than numerical averages, which means I had to find a way to break a few ties. The method I finally decided on was ranking the movies within each letter grade according to their percentage of “A” votes (which you can find on any Criticwire Network page by clicking on the “Grade Snapshot” function). Merely counting grades would put smaller films at a disadvantage; measuring the percentage of grades shows the passion of those who voted, which feels fairly analogous with picking one movie out of a field of nine as the “best” of the year.

So with that explanation out of the way, here are 2013’s Oscar winners — if the Oscars were chosen by our Criticwire Network. Which they aren’t. Obviously. But if they were…

(Oh, one important note: clicking on any title below will take you to that film’s page on the Criticwire Network, where you’ll find a full grade breakdown, links to critics’ reviews, and a place to vote on the movie yourself. So please click with impunity.)

The 85th Academy Awards Winners (If the Criticwire Network Voted)

Best Picture
WINNER: Zero Dark Thirty – A- (76.6% A grades)
RUNNER-UP:Amour” – A- (56.7%)
THE REST:ArgoA- (41.8%)
Beasts of the Southern Wild” – B+ (53.1%)
Lincoln” – B+ (42.3%)
Life of Pi” – B+ (37.9%)
Silver Linings Playbook” – B+ (37.3%)
Django Unchained” – B+ (36.5%)
Les Miserables” – B- (14%)

Best Documentary
WINNERS:The Gatekeepers” – A- (64.285%) and “How to Survive a Plague” – A- (64.285%) [TIE]
RUNNER-UP:The Invisible War” – A- (60%)
THE REST:5 Broken Cameras” – A- (45.4%)
Searching For Sugar Man” – A- (38.8%)

Best Foreign Language Film
WINNER:Amour” – A- (56.7%)
RUNNER-UP:No” – A- (41.6%)
THE REST:War Witch” – B+ (26%)
A Royal Affair” – B+ (17.6%)
Kon Tiki” – B- (0%)

Best Animated Feature
WINNER:ParaNorman” – B+ (33.3%)
RUNNER-UP:Frankenweenie” – B+ (27.2%)
THE REST:BraveB+ (18.7%)
Wreck-It Ralph” – B (10.7%)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits” – B (0%)

If you’re curious, here’s how Best Picture vote would shake out, if the critics of Rotten Tomatoes picked the winner:

Best Picture (According to Rotten Tomatoes)
WINNER:Argo” – 96%
RUNNER-UP:Zero Dark Thirty” – 94%
THE REST:Amour” – 92%
Lincoln” – 91%
Silver Linings Playbook” – 91%
Django Unchained” – 89%
Life of Pi” – 88%
Beasts of the Southern Wild” – 86%
Les Miserables” – 70%

By the numbers on either site, “Les Miserables” is the worst Best Picture nominee this year (or worst reviewed if you’re feeling more generous). Which, in the world of the Oscars, means nothing. It could very well win on February 24th. Which is why the critics should vote on these things in the first place.


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