Monday, February 29, 2016

Oscar Localities

Of the 89 films to have won Best Picture, Spotlight is only the second that takes place in Massachusetts (the first was Departed). Here are some other useless facts on the same subject:

In the United States, the Academy loves New York the most. 18 of the winners come from that state, essentially exclusively New York City.

California, by contrast, has 4 winners, all of whom are based in Los Angeles.

Other states that do okay: Illinois has 3, Louisiana 2, Texas 2, Wyoming 2, Georgia 2, New Jersey 2. The U.S. category is then rounded out with 1 each for Ohio, Hawaii, Pennsylvania (arguably 2), Virginia, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

Internationally you have the UK dominating. with 13 wins - the next most after New York. France does well too, with 6. Europe rounds out with 2 for Austria, 1 for Germany, 1 for Denmark, and 1 for Poland.

Asia comes in next with 2 for India, 2 for Vietnam, and 1 for China. The Middle East gets 1 for Iran, 1 for Iraq, 1 for Jordan/Syria, and 1 for Israel. North Africa gets 1 for Morocco, 1 for Libya, and one for Tunisia. Sub-Saharan Africa gets 1 for Kenya.

No Best Picture Winners have taken place in South America. Or Australia.

Eight films are essentially impossible to ascribe a single locale to: The Greatest Show on Earth (vaguely midwest?), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (no context), American Beauty (midwest again?), Titanic (OCEAN), Forest Gump (too many places), and Around the World in 80 Days (too many places). Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans takes place in some vaguely allegorical land.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King takes place in Middle Earth, which is not real.

Many of these could be disputed and argued. (For example, I count Patton as France, but there's a lot that takes place in Italy. Etc.) But as a rough shakedown, it's okay, I think. The real question is: how many can you match to their films?

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