Oscar pundits often argue that the Academy like to reward young, emerging actresses with a best supporting actress trophy. I thought that it would be interesting to evaluate how much experience the best supporting actress winners have had in the past twenty years. To do so, I looked for the number of IMDB film credits for each actress prior to the year that she won the statue. I found the the best supporting actress winner has an average of 20 credits. To get a more accurate picture, I also looked at the median number of credits as well, which was also 20 credits. The middle fifty percent of the actresses had between 11.5 and 25.5 credits. Anna Paquin (1993) had the fewest previous credits, 1, and Lee Grant(1975) had the most at 58.

With this target number of 20 films in mind, let’s look at the nominees this year:

  • Amy Adams in “Junebug” (18 credits)
  • Catherine Keener in “Capote” (28 credits)
  • Frances McDormand in “North Country” (41 credits)
  • Rachel Weisz in “The Constant Gardener” (26 credits)
  • Michelle Williams in “Brokeback Mountain” (23 credits)

To take things a step further, let’s eliminate those actresses clearly outside of our middle 50 percent, Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand. We are left with Amy Adams, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams. It is fair to say that all three actresses have a good chance of winning. Amy Adams is two credits away from the 20 credit sweet spot, Michelle Williams is three credits away, and Rachel Weisz is six credits away. Using the theory that number of credits is the deciding factor, we could expect Michelle Williams or Amy Adams to take home the statue. Although we are sticking with our preliminary pick of Rachel Weisz, Oscar Frenzy will consider this data when picking our final winners.