Predicting the Oscars – Sentiment Analysis of the Media

With the 2020 Oscars upon us, we thought we’d review how the Best Picture nominated movies were received by the media throughout the year.

Using our News API, we pulled all news stories from 01/01/19 to 06/02/20 that featured a nominated movie title in the body of the text, omitting the other movie titles in case multiple movies were discussed in the same article. We split stories by positive and negative sentiment, excluding stories that were deemed neutral.

As expected, we see spikes in media coverage around movie release dates. We also see some minor spikes months before general release, probably in reaction to films being screened at festivals.

The most eye-catching aspect of the graph, however, is the sheer volume of stories concerning Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker in comparison to the other Oscar hopefuls.

Interestingly, 1917 – which brought home Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography gongs at the Baftas – barely makes an impression on the chart. Granted, it had a late release in December 2019, but sees nowhere near the same attention as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker.

If we were playing the numbers game, we’d be putting our money on the latter bringing home the trophy!

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