And the Oscar goes to...

Hollywood is putting on the glitz this week in preparation for the Academy Awards, and the world is anxiously awaiting the red carpet and the ceremony with the new gold statues.

Hollywood is putting on the glitz this week in preparation for the Academy Awards, and the world is anxiously awaiting the red carpet and the ceremony with the new gold statues. The Oscar races are tightly contested and there has been no lack of buzz in the blogosphere as influencers are actively debating their favorite movies and performances. Based on the volume and tone of conversations within the most influential blogs, BuzzLogic helps to sort out the predictions about who will be taking home statues on February 22.

Best Picture
•  The award for Best Picture is up for grabs this year. Based on the volume of influential blog conversations, the race is a dead heat between Slumdog Millionaire which has 191 influential blogs and 1,638 posts dedicated to the Golden Globe darling, and Milk, with 158 influential blogs and 2,704 posts discussing the film. Slumdog Millionaire may have a slight edge, as 31% of the influential blog conversations around the term “best picture” also mention the film.
•    The influencers also love The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and many hope the endearing film will be this year's dark horse winner.

Best Actor
•    Based on the nature and volume of influencer buzz, this category appears to be a three-way race. BuzzLogic looked at the influential blog conversations focused on Best Actor, and found that 48% of the conversations mention Sean Penn and Frank Langella for their performances in Milk and Frost/Nixon.  Golden Globe winner Mickey Rourke is mentioned in 30% of the conversations for his comeback role in The Wrestler.  

Best Actress
•    Like its Best Actor counterpart, the Oscar for Best Actress is still a toss-up with two powerhouse actresses in a tight race, according to blog conversations monitored by BuzzLogic. Overall bloggers favor Meryl Streep to edge Kate Winslet.  But, Anne Hathaway also has a significant blogger fan base generating noteworthy online buzz – influencers say this long-shot contender could surprise on Oscar night.

Best Supporting Actor/Actress
•    According to BuzzLogic's influence analysis, the Supporting Actress will go to Penelope Cruz in Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona as 42% of the influential blogs have identified her to win. Influential bloggers are also talking about Kate Winslet's Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress, but mention the Oscars have snubbed her in this category.   
•    Heath Ledger's performance for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight is the hands-down favorite to win for the Supporting Actor award, with 62% of the influencers stating the award will be his.

Best Director
•    Danny Boyle is heavily favored to win Best Director – 54% of the influential bloggers noted the director would receive the award for Slumdog Millionaire.   

It's interesting to note that many celebrity and film blogs, such as Celebitchy and The Film Experience, become hotspots for influential conversations around films this time of year. In addition, a couple of Oscars-related blogs like Awards Daily and In Contention also spike in influence. Understanding how events can impact a site's influential power can help our efforts to reach those audiences (be it through direct outreach to a blogger or targeted advertising on their Web site) that much more effective.

Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic's Insights. Insights determines blog influence by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity.  Based on the analysis of 7,791 blog postings from January 3 to February 16, 2009.

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