It’s becoming a familiar formula: add one starlet, aged 32, plus a 43 year-old leading man, mix together in a 140 minute drama and unleash it to the world in October - and voila!
There you have the perfect recipe for an Oscar-winning film, according to a study commissioned by blinkbox - the UK's leading online movie service.
The research from blinkbox, undertaken by the National Film and Television School led by renowned British producer Nik Powell and NFTS graduate Duncan Bruce, provides us with a glimpse of what the next Oscar winner might look like ahead of next week’s star-studded Hollywood ceremony.
After examining trends of previous cinematic successes, the study has also found:
- The average age of a Best Actress winner currently stands at 32, while the average age of a Best Actor winner is 43
- The average length of a winning Best Picture is two hours 20 minutes, with a preference for dramatic ‘intimate portraits’, such as The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech.
- Best Actress and Actor nominees are more likely to be victorious on their second or third Oscar attempt. Since 2000, only four stars have managed to win the Best Actor trophy from their first nomination
- The average age of a Best Director recipient in the last 12 years is 53 (up from 44 during the 1990s)
- If a film is awarded Best Picture it will almost always secure the Best Director statue too = in the last 50 years, Best Picture and Director have only differed seven times
The results bode well for Michelle Williams who, at 32 years old, is nominated for Best Actress for her role in My Week With Marilyn. However, with Meryl Streep holding the record for the most Oscar nominations received by an actor, The Iron Lady is not to be underestimated.
The extensive research has also discovered...
- Best Picture
In the past, it was rarely guaranteed that a Best Picture winner would automatically win one of the screenplay Oscars - for example, films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Rocky, Titanic, The English Patient, The Deer Hunter and Platoon all won Best Picture without winning one of the screenplay categories.
However, in recent years, there has been a trend towards linking the two awards - in the last 12 years only three Best Picture winners have failed to win a screenplay Oscar (Million Dollar Baby, Chicago and Gladiator).
- Best Actress and Best Actor - the perfect pair
The study has identified a trend for the Best Actress accolade to be awarded to younger actresses, and as a result, only four leading ladies since 1990 (Bullock, Mirren, Sarandon and Bates) have been awarded Best Actress while being over the age of 40.
In contrast, the Best Actor award is much more unpredictable. Jeff Bridges won the award for Crazy Heart aged 60, while Adrien Brody became the youngest person ever to scoop the title for The Pianist at just 29.
- Best Director - age is just a number
The oldest recipient of the Best Director Oscar is Clint Eastwood for his work on Million Dollar Baby, aged 74, and the youngest in the modern era is Sam Mendes who won at the tender age of 34 for his work on American Beauty.
- Time is ticking...
Based on recent results, the average length of a Best Picture winner is two hours 20 minutes, which is lucky for film lovers with short attention spans - during the 80s and 90s, winning blockbusters edged over the three hour mark, with titles such as Amadeus, Out of Africa, The Last Emperor, Dances With Wolves, Schindler’s List, Braveheart, The English Patient and Titanic all hitting the top spot.
The insight will come in handy for entrants to blinkbox’s Win A Million competition where film fans have until midnight on 21st February to strike it rich and win £1 million by correctly predicting all 24 winners at this year’s Oscar ceremony.
To enter Win A Million, visit www.facebook.com/blinkbox and submit your predictions.