The 85th Academy Awards are more than two months away but, with Oscars nominations ballot going out next week, now is the time to snap up the value in the various Oscar races.
In the six major categories – Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress – there are appears to be three locks.
Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis is around 2-5 to take out Best Actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln. Day-Lewis won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performances in My Left Foot and Gangs of New York and, according to 23 out of 26 experts on the world’s leading Academy Awards prediction website, Gold Derby, he is the frontrunner in a race that also features such big names as Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington.
Best Actress looks set to go to one of Hollywood’s rising stars, Jennifer Lawrence, for her role as Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook. The Hunger Games heroine has been labelled the most talented actress in the United States of America and 16 of Gold Derby’s 26 experts think that she will win an Oscar at the tender age of 22. Lawrence is available at around 8-15 to take out the category.
And Best Supporting Actress seems to be a done deal, with Anne Hathaway around 1-4 to win for her portrayal of Fantine, a struggling factory worker and mother of an illegitimate child in in Les Miserables. Like Day-Lewis, Hathaway has the support of 23 of Gold Derby’s 26 experts, which explains why bookmakers are offering 9-1 bar the actress who co-hosted the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011.
Best Picture is the highest profile of the Oscar races but it is very difficult to single out a contender just yet. Les Miserables is the general favourite at around 9-4 and it has the most support among Gold Derby’s 26 experts but it is not having everything its own way, with Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty having their fans as well. At the current odds, one would probably lean towards 3-1 shot Zero Dark Thirty following its success in several minor critics award.
Best Directing is much more interesting in terms of throwing up a value bet. Lincoln director Steven Spielberg is the general favourite at around 7-4 but only three of Gold Derby’s 26 experts have the man who won for Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List in the 1990s at the top of their rankings. Both Ben Affleck (Argo) and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) have nine votes, while Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) has five. Therefore, the value is Hooper, who is as big as 6-1 fourth favourite with one bookmaker.
It may be a little harsh to label Philip Seymour Hoffman as a false favourite but there is little doubt that the Best Actor champion for Capote is much too short to win Best Supporting Actor for The Master. Hoffman is odds on in several places and no bigger than 13-8 anywhere. Gold Derby’s experts have Hoffman on top but not by a wide margin, with him only two votes ahead of Robert De Niro. Tommy Lee Jones is one more vote back in third position, while Alan Arkin, Eddie Redmayne, Leonardo Di Caprio and Matthew McConaughey have their supporters as well. At 10-1, De Niro stands out as the pre-Christmas value in what is shaping as the tightest of the leading Academy Awards.
If one is willing to go off the beaten track and bet on some of the less prestigious Oscar races, there are grounds for thinking that Lincoln (around 2-1 to win Best Adapted Screenplay), Brave 13-8 (around 13-8 to win Best Animated Feature Film), The Master (around 4-1 to win Best Cinematography) and Zero Dark Thirty (around 11-10 to win Best Original Screenplay) are over the odds currently.
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