A Star Is Born would win best picture if the Oscars were chosen based on social love

Don’t blame the messenger.

A Star Is Born would win best picture if the Oscars were chosen based on social love
[Photos: Green Book: Patti Perret/Universal Pictures, Participant, and DreamWorks; BlacKkKlansman: David Lee/Focus Features; A Star Is Born: Neal Preston/Warner Bros. Entertainment]

Much as I find this baffling, a sizable segment of the moviegoing population apparently does not agree with me that The Favourite should win best picture this year.


I know. Crazy.

In fact, to hear the experts tell it, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is the movie most likely to take home the coveted Oscar statuette on Sunday night, because Netflix has evidently done so much to preserve the sanctity of cinema. Other prognosticators have their money on Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, not because it deserves to win, but because it hews to the boring feel-good formula that Hollywood has traditionally favored. Still others are crossing their fingers and hoping that Black Panther defies the odds and becomes the first superhero movie to win best picture—and if we’re going by box-office performance or hype, one assumes popular opinion is on their side.

But judging by an entirely different metric, none of those movies would claim the top prize. According to a sentiment analysis by Sprout Social, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born has been attracting the most love on social media. The data firm looked at mentions across Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, and other online platforms between February 1 through February 20. It found that chatter around the Lady Gaga musical was 96% positive, the most positive of all eight movies nominated for best picture this year. Next on the list was Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, which had 93% positive sentiment. Interestingly, neither of those two movies is thought to be a top contender.

Another thing to note about this data is that volume doesn’t necessarily correlate with goodwill. While Bohemian Rhapsody attracted the most mentions during the period (9,383, according to Sprout Social), it had by far the lowest positive sentiment at 54%, suggesting that—surprise—the Queen biopic is controversial.


Of course, a sentiment analysis is by no means a perfect metric, but unless you’re in that 4% of people who were trash-talking Gaga over the last few weeks, you might find this data encouraging. I’ve posted the full findings below. Take them for what you will, and remember I’m just the messenger.

Black Panther

  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 8,082
  • Sentiment: 87% positive


  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 4,279
  • Sentiment: 93% positive

Bohemian Rhapsody

  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 9,383
  • Sentiment: 54% positive

The Favourite

  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 5,670
  • Sentiment: 91% positive

Green Book

  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 3,632
  • Sentiment: 89% positive


  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 6,460
  • Sentiment: 88% positive

A Star Is Born

  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 8,334
  • Sentiment: 96% positive


  • Total Mentions (2/1-2/20): 3,083
  • Sentiment: 86% positive

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine