You are hereAwards / Oscars Crapshoot: Who Will Win?

Oscars Crapshoot: Who Will Win?


By Robert Alstead - Posted on 09 February 2010

“After you're nominated, it's like a crapshoot, it's like throwing dice.” Morgan Freeman

Freeman was talking about the Oscars, of course. If I was a betting man I'd put money on him for his performance as Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invinctus. I like a long shot every now and then and with William Hill putting Freeman at 26 to 1 he has the longest odds of the group of five leading actors. 

Freeman's performances have a certain nobility to them that seems to befit Oscar-winning. It's not a major factor, but the Academy has also been more likely to hand Best Actor Oscars to black actors in recent years than in the past: Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland in 2006, Jamie Foxx for Ray in 2004, and Denzel Washington for Training Day in 2001. Hmm, looking at that list, youth is not on his side.

The bookies have no-spring-chicken Jeff Bridges at virtually odds on to win the Best Actor Oscar, beating nearest opponent George Clooney at 4/1. For Freeman, like Bridges, this is his 5th nomination. Freeman did win an Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. For Bridges it would be a first.

The charismatic Clooney has been feted for his performance as a corporate henchman in Jason Reitman's Up In The Air so can't be ruled out. Then there's Colin Firth for his role as a bereaving gay professor in A Single Man. But he's English, and this is his first nomination.

Jeremy Renner at 20/1 is another Best Actor long shot for his performance in the taut Afghanistan-set drama The Hurt Locker, although the actors aren't standing out as much as the film. Looks like Renner's an "also ran" (sorry, couldn't resist).

The Lady's Turn?

In the other big awards, it's hard to choose between Kathryn Bigelow and her ex-husband James Cameron. 3D epic Avatar is the bookies' favourite to win Best Picture, beating The Hurt Locker by a nose. Even with ten nominees in the Best Picture category this year, these are the two front-runners. The record-breaking box office numbers from Avatar have offered a brighter future for Hollywood at a time when its business model was under siege from file-sharing.

The Academy might chose to give Avatar another boost, but twisted thrillers have done well lately in Oscarland (recent Best Film Award winners being No Country For Old Men, The Departed, Crash, Million Dollar Baby even). I'm going for The Hurt Locker.

Kathryn Bigelow may well scoop Best Director as well - the bookies' choice - leaving Cameron's team to clean up in the special effects and art departments.

No surprise that one of Britain's other representatives at the Oscars Helen Mirren has only an outside chance at 40/1 at Best Actress with her performance in The Last Station. Dame Helen was the best thing in the film, but the film was weak . Besides, she won an Oscar for The Queen.

No, for Best Actress, I'm going to go with Sandra Bullock who has been a dead cert for such a long time that even two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep can't catch her. Like Best Actor favourite Bridges, Bullock won at the Golden Globes.

The Oscars horse race extends to the fashions on the night as well. With some bookies, like Paddy Power, you can bet on the dress design and dress colour that the winner of the Best Actress award will wear.

The odds for this are more exciting, ranging from 9/4 for black – a popular colour in these recessionary times - to 100/1 in the event that the the “best actress” wears a polka dot dress. On the design side, odds range from 4/1 for Lanvin to 500/1 for something off the shelf at M&S. Bullock hasn't chosen her dress yet apparently, but Chanel at 18/1 looks like good odds.

Here's how the Golden Globes went:

  • Best Picture: Avatar (dir James Cameron)
  • Best Director: Avatar
  • Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Best Comedy or Musical: The Hangover
  • Best Actor in in Comedy or Musical: Robert Downey Jr
  • Best Actress in Comedy or Musical: Meryl Streep
  • Best Supporting Actress: Mo'nique (Precious)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Best Animated Feature: Up (Walt Disney/Pixar)
  • Best Foreign Film: White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band – Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) Germany
  • Best screenplay: Jason Reitman (Up In The Air)
  • Best Original Score: Up, Michael Giacchino
  • Best Original Song: “The Weary Kind” (Theme from Crazy Heart), Music & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Here's how bookie William Hills see the Oscars going at time of writing:

  • Best Picture: Avatar (dir James Cameron)
  • Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

Here's how bookie Paddy Power sees the Oscars going at time of writing:

  • Best Picture: Avatar (dir James Cameron)
  • Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Mo'nique (Precious)

My predictions *

  • Best Film: The Hurt Locker
  • Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Best Actor: Jeff Bridges but sprinkle some money on Morgan Freeman
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Mo'nique (Precious)
  • Best Animated Feature: Up (Walt Disney/Pixar)
  • Best Cinematography: Avatar, Mauro Fiore
  • Best Documentary: The Cove (save the dolphins!)
  • Best Art Direction: Avatar, Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
  • Best Costume Design: “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
  • Best Original Score: Up, Michael Giacchino
  • Best Original Song: “The Weary Kind” (Theme from Crazy Heart), Music & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
  • Best Foreign Language Film: White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band – Eine Deutsche or A Prophet (Un Prophete)
  • Best Sound Editing: Avatar
  • Best Sound Mixing: Avatar
  • Best Visual Effects: Avatar
  • Writing (adapted screenplay): Up In The Air, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
  • Writing (original screenplay): The Hurt Locker
  • Short Film animated: A Matter of Loaf and Death (Nick Park has converted 4out of 5 nominations before so why not 5 out of 6?)
  • Short Film Live Action: The Door (now I'm throwing darts)
  • Documentary Short: Music By Prudence (Prudence and Zimbabwe need an Oscar)

* I do not possess a crystal ball

Navigation