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Hollywood’s biggest night has arrived once again as the Academy Awards salutes the films of 2012 this Sunday night.  We expect this to be the most tweeted Oscar telecast ever by a large margin if pre-show social media volume is any indication.

Since the nominees were announced on January 10, there have been over 912,000 mentions of the Oscars/Academy Awards across social media platforms.  That’s a huge jump from last year, when we noted over 332,000 conversations between January 24 and Feb 20.

Let’s take a look at the social media conversation surrounding some of the major categories and make a few predictions based on what we find. With buzz surrounding the nominees constantly shifting with each precursor award (e.g. Golden Globes, BAFTA’s, Guild Awards) we’ll focus on conversations over the past 14 days.

Best Picture

Ben Affleck’s Argo is the most mentioned of the nine best picture nominees over the past two weeks.  Its chief rival Lincoln, the most nominated film this year, places second with almost 5000 mentions separating the two.  Argo also ranks second in positive sentiment (80%) behind only Silver Linings Playbook which leads with 84% positive mentions.

Predicted Winner:  Based on its lead in the social conversation, coupled with its positive sentiment and slew of precursor wins, we predict Argo to walk out of the ceremony, perhaps cleverly disguised as a Canadian, the winner.

Best Actress

Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence is clearly the star of the moment, easily topping her competition with 41% of the total Best Actress social conversation.  Sentiment-wise, Lawrence is tied for second with Zero Dark Thirty lead Jessica Chastain, each with 76% positive conversation.  Emmanuelle Riva, fresh off a big win at the BAFTA’s, leads with 82% of mentions skewing positive.

Predicted Winner:  Despite Riva’s rise, Jennifer Lawrence still seems like the one to beat.  She is by far the most buzzed about star and has a slew of victories behind her already, including the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award.

Best Actor

Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis is the most mentioned name in the Best Actor conversation followed by Les Misérables lead Hugh Jackman.  The two-time Oscar winner also towers over the other nominees with 87% positive sentiment.  The remaining four nominees all sit within 79-80% positive.

Predicted Winner Daniel Day-Lewis. Nuff said.

Best Director

The master himself, Steven Spielberg, is the leader of the pack with 32% of the Best Director Conversation mentioning the legendary filmmaker.  Life of Pi helmer Ang Lee, however, is the clear leader in terms of positive sentiment.  Lee’s mentions are 89% positive compared to Spielberg’s 74% and Michael Haneke’s and David O. Russell’s 78%.

Predicted Winner: With Argo director Ben Affleck out of the running, Steven Spielberg’s heavily nominated Lincoln should see one of its wins coming from this important category.

How Will Seth MacFarlane Fare?

Academy Awards Host has to be one of Hollywood’s most thankless jobs as each year the host deals with armchair hosting from critics, viewers, bloggers, and media outlets.  All eyes are on Family Guy creator and Ted director Seth MacFarlane on Sunday as he attempts to bring his distinct sense of humor to the proceedings.  Over the past 14 days, social media sentiment surrounding MacFarlane is good, with 72% of mentions of him classed as positive.  That can all change once the ceremony has begun, however.  Good luck, Mr. MacFarlane.

Be sure to check back on Monday as we go over the social conversation around the ceremony itself and see how our predictions turned out. Surprised by the above data? Looking forward to the Oscar telecast? Thoughts on Seth MacFarlane? Tell us about it in the comments.


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