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‘Oscar winners mostly American’

Sydney, Feb 6: The odds of winning an Oscar are greater for an American actor in a film that portrays American culture than others, says a study. Of the 97 Oscars in the lead best actor and actress category since 1968, nearly 70 per cent have gone to Americans, the study found.

The findings suggest that our perception of what makes a creation origil and outstanding is heavily influenced by the social groups we are members of.

“We know a lot about the factors that increase people’s capacity to show exceptiol performances. However, a somewhat different question is what makes a given creative performance likely to be seen as exceptiol. This was the question we addressed in this research,” said Niklas Steffens from University of Queensland in Australia.

“These results show that whether we see a given performance as extraordiry is not just a function of the objective quality of that performance. For perceivers are much more likely to recognise a performance as truly brilliant when perceivers and performers share membership in a social group,” Steffens noted.

For the study, the researchers conducted a large-scale alysis of the distribution of the Academy Awards for best actor and for best actress in a leading role by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars) as well as the award for best actor and for best actress in a leading role by the London-based British Academy of Film and Television Arts (the BAFTAs) since 1968.

This comprised 97 winners and 383 (unsuccessful) nominees for the Oscars and 97 winners and 331 (unsuccessful) nominees for the BAFTAs.

Both awards state that they aim to recognise best performances in films from all over the world. The results showed that American actors won 52 per cent of all BAFTAs but 69 per cent of all Oscars, while British actors won 18 per cent of all Oscars but 34 per cent of all BAFTAs. “US artists won a greater proportion of Oscar awards than nomitions, while British artists won a greater proportion of BAFTA awards than nomitions,” the study said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita