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Film awards as indicators of cinematic creativity and achievement: A quantitative comparison of the Oscars and six alternatives


Although film awards are often taken as indicating the creative achievements that underlie outstanding motion pictures, critics have questioned whether such honors represent a consensus regarding cinematic contributions. Nevertheless, a strong agreement was demonstrated by investigating 1,132films released between 1975 and 2002 that had received at least 1 award or award nomination from 7 distinct sources (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association). The results indicated that (a) almost all award categories exhibited a conspicuous consensus, the Oscars providing the best single indicator of that agreement; (b) Oscar awards provided meaningful information about cinematic creativity and achievement beyond that provided by Oscar nominations alone; (c) awards bestowed by the 7 organizations corresponded with more specialized awards granted by guilds and societies, with the Oscars usually providing the best correspondence; and (d) awards correlated positively with later movie guide ratings, the correlations being especially large in the categories of picture, direction, screenplay, and acting. The findings Were discussed in terms of whether the awards can be considered to be indicative of cinematic creativity.

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