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The National Board of Review did not make massive headlines when it named it’s prize winners but, if history is any guide to the future, it’s list of this year’s top 10 films should enable Academy Awards punters to narrow down the Best Picture field and discount many of the favourites.
Mad Max: Fury Road took out the National Board of Review’s Best Film category, with it’s top 10 including Bridge of Spies, Creed, Inside Out, Room, Sicario, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton, The Hateful Eight and The Martian as well.
The National Board of Review’s Best Film has a poor record of aligning with the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards. Slumdog Millionaire was the last movie to do the National Board of Review-Academy Awards double, with six features failing subsequently. Indeed, just twice since the turn of the century have the National Board of Review and the Academy Awards agreed as to the identity of the year’s finest film, with the other double winner being No Country for Old Men 12 months before Slumdog Millionaire’s wins.
However, the National Board of Review has a great record of including the eventual Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards in its top 10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the last Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards to overcome the National Board of Review snubbing it and the New York-based organisation did not show any love for the first two movies in the Peter Jackson-directed series, either. Each of the last 11 Best Picture winners at the Academy Awards – in chronological order, Million Dollar Baby, Crash, The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech, The Artist, Argo, 12 Years a Slave and Birdman – made it into the National Board of Review’s top 10 prior to Oscars glory.
Most Academy Awards bookmakers have not latched on to the significance of the National Board of Review’s announcement of its top 10 films, with four of the top six in betting on Best Picture receiving a snub from the organisation. The two Best Picture favourites whom the National Board of Review has endorsed are Spotlight, which is the market leader at odds of +275 with Winner, and The Martian, which is trading at odds of +1200 with Bet365.
Dutching Spotlight and The Martian produces a Best Picture bet at odds of +191 , which is a mighty fine price about the National Board of Review’s top 10 including the winner of the Academy Awards race for the 12th year in a row. One cannot see those odds lastly long, particularly given the likelihood that Spotlight will firm as the Best Picture favourite as the Academy Awards get closer and closer.
Another big tick for dutching Spotlight and The Martian is that Nathianiel Rogers, the New York-based blogger whose website, The Film Experience, is one of the world’s best Academy Awards resources, rates those two movies as the only two locks for a Best Picture nomination. Rogers updated his Academy Awards predictions on Tuesday 1 December so he was confident about Spotlight and The Martian even before the National Board of Review went public with its ratings.
Last week’s article about the Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards highlighted the value in snapping up odds of +200 about Leonardo DiCaprio breaking his Oscars drought. DiCaprio has gone from being the Best Actor in a Leading Role second favourite behind Michael Fassbender to the frontrunner, trading at odds on with some bookmakers.
Spotlight/The Martian to win Best Picture Winner
Odds: +190 (Dutched)
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