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Natalie Portman, Colin Firth

Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP Images; Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Oscar Watch

The Oscar curse says Natalie Portman's love life is toast if she wins Best Actress. New science proves it!

But do guys get an automatic pass? Can Colin Firth just show up at the Kodak, win Best Actor and give not a care to his marriage being brought down by a nefarious awards-show force? Not entirely:

A new and much-noted study found that the Oscar curse, as we know it, was real.

After delving into the marital track records of 751 Best Actress and Best Actor nominees between the Bette Davis-graced 1936 show and the Sandra Bullock-marked 2010 ceremony, researchers found that the unions of Best Actress winners break faster than those of Best Actress losers.

(To be precise about it, the median length of a marriage for a Best Actress winner, like the Jesse James-dumping Bullock, was determined to be 4.3 years, while that of a Best Actress loser, like the never-divorced Sigourney Weaver, was 9.5 years.) 

But male stars didn't get off the hook.

Yes, it's true that there was no statistical difference between the marriage lengths of Best Actor winners and losers, but there was a difference.

A Best Actor loser stayed married for 12.7 years, compared to 12 years for a Best Actor winner.

Like we said, not a big difference. In fact, as Colleen Stuart, one of the researchers, told us via email, "We can't rule out that this difference is due to chance."

Also, Tom Hanks probably totally skewed the results.

The bottom line, though, as we see it, is that there is no better way to ensure a happy home life than to be nominated—and to lose—as a Best Actor. 

We wonder if it's too late for Portman to switch categories? And pronto. After all, as Stuart noted, "It appears that the risk of divorce for Best Actress winners (compared to non-winners) is greater in recent decades."

Oh, well, at least nobody, win or lose, will have to worry about suffering a stroke. Er, scratch that