Rounding out the award show season, the Academy Awards (popularly known as the Oscars) are airing this Sunday, February 24th at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. Despite controversies around the Oscars’ chosen and now nonexistent host, its much-panned decision to announce some awards during commercial breaks and the fact that no women directors were nominated for their work this year, millions will still tune in to the show to admire the fashion on the red carpet, enjoy the banter between celebrity presenters and hold their breath as each category is announced.

While Academy voters ultimately determine the winners, we were curious to see which nominees are fan favorites ahead of the show on Sunday. Here’s what we found when we examined positive media mentions from the last couple of days around some of the most popular award categories:

Actress in a Leading Role

Like her A Star is Born co-star Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga leads positive media conversations for the Best Actress category. Newcomer Yalitza Aparicio, who was nominated for her film debut in Roma, follows closely behind Lady Gaga in chatter leading up to the event, far more than the lead actresses for The Wife (Glenn Close), The Favourite (Olivia Colman) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Melissa McCarthy) combined.

Actor in a Leading Role

The male lead of one of the most popular films of 2018, A Star is Born, it’s no surprise that Bradley Cooper is one of the most-talked-about nominees for Actor in a Leading Role (commonly referred to as Best Actor). Rami Malek’s well-received turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody puts him in second place for positive media mentions ahead of the show, while the nominated lead actors from Green Book (Viggo Mortensen), Vice (Christian Bale) and At Eternity’s Gate (Willem Dafoe), round out online conversations in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Even though two actresses from The Favourite (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) were nominated for the Actress in a Supporting Role category, it’s the nominated supporting actress from Roma, Marina de Tavira, who leads positive conversations around this category. Regina King, nominated for her supporting role in If Beale Street Could Talk, comes in second overall.

Actor in a Supporting Role

While lagging behind nominees from more widely popular films in other categories, the nominees for Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Richard E. Grant) and Green Book (Mahershala Ali) take charge in positive conversations around this category. Sam Rockwell, nominated for his supporting role as George W. Bush in the biopic Vice, just edges out Sam Elliot, who starred as Bradley Cooper’s taciturn half-brother in A Star is Born.

Best Picture

The first superhero movie ever nominated for the Best Picture category, Black Panther edges out fellow fan favorite, A Star is Born, to claim the top spot in positive conversations around the category. Roma, a film about a middle-class family’s maid in 1970s Mexico, keeps up with the two blockbuster hits, coming in third in positive media mentions, a respectable feat for a smaller, foreign language film.

Animated Feature Film

Nominated Pixar films have won the Best Animated Feature Film category all but two times since the category was first introduced, making them the established favorite for this category. While the Pixar offering this year, Incredibles 2, holds strong in the rankings, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, hailed for its groundbreaking animation and modern storytelling, dominates positive chatter around this category, with the nominees from smaller animation houses trailing behind.


Spike Lee dominates positive media conversations around Best Director for his work on BlacKkKlansman, his first nomination for the category despite directing many critically-acclaimed films. Surprisingly, despite the popularity of nominees for Roma in other categories we examined, Alfonso Cuaron comes in second-to-last place in conversations for his work on the film that received 10 nominations this year.

Original Song

Of the five songs nominated this year, the two with the more contemporary sound – “Shallow” from A Star is Born and “All the Stars” from Black Panther – dominate positive conversations around this category, aided in large part by the massive popularity of the films in which they appeared. Nominated songs from Mary Poppins Returns, RBG and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs lag behind significantly.

While our data shows superheroes and star-crossed singers to be the early fan favorites, it’s still too soon to say who will go home with the coveted golden statues. Will Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper add to their growing pile of awards for their roles in A Star is Born? Will critical darling Roma go home with all 10 of the awards for which it was nominated? Will Pixar’s Incredibles 2 follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and take home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, or will it get caught in Spiderman’s web? Tune in Sunday to find out (we’ll be live-tweeting with insights!)

If you liked this post, check out our analysis of conversations around the 2019 Grammy Awards, both before and after the show. For even more data-driven insights, check out our Resource Center or request a demo of our platform.