This is Part Three of the Monkey Fighting Robots’ Oscar Predictions for the 90th Academy Awards: Best Documentary, Foreign film, and Shorts. You can find Part One and Two here. Make sure to check back after the Oscars to see if you beat Jenkins, our expert prediction system!
Best Documentary: Last Men in Aleppo
Honestly who the hell knows with this category. Every predictive award gave it to Jane, which wasn’t nominated. There is no way to safely say what’s going to take the stage.
But, given that the directors for this one were denied a visa under the current administration, that might swing enough protest votes to give Last Men the lead.
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
Once again, there was not any data with which to predict. Every predictive award went elsewhere in an already difficult category. That being said, A Fantastic Woman has had a ton of buzz over the past year, and that could be enough to sustain a lead.
Best Documentary Short: Heroin(e)
The Shorts categories are nearly impossible to predict – there simply aren’t enough awards given to build any kind of model. So there are based on more subjective qualities.
Netflix has found their groove in this category. They continue to push well-made and timely docs, and it’s paying off. Heroin(e) has both in spades, so expect to see it on the big stage.
Best Live Action Short: DeKalb Elementary
Another unfortunately timely short. At a time when discussions about guns in schools are the headline, this based-on-a-true-story of a foiled school shooting is a guaranteed win.
Best Animated Short: Dear Basketball
An autobiographical story from Kobe Bryant and the animator behind The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas. You don’t need an algorithmic prediction model to know that this will win.
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