Nick Gillespie | Oscars preview
Despite what the image of naked, bronzed men may suggest you have not wandered onto the set of Behind the Candelabra. This my friend, is the Oscar season!
The front-runners for the Academy Awards are starting to hit our cinema screens. Paddy Power’s Nick Gillespie casts a critical eye over where the value lies before the Hollywood machine goes into overdrive and the result is as certain as the Best Actress winner blubbering through her acceptance speech.
1. Best Picture:
You’d think that the theme of racial discrimination would stir the hearts of the Academy. But it seems like the man still likes to keep a brother down. Over the last few years movies on similar subjects have not fared well in the Best Picture category with Django Unchained, Lincoln, The Help, Precious, The Blind Side all losing out.
But 12 Years a Slave is Paddy’s 11/8 favourite to defy the trend and continue the run of 57 per cent of all Best Picture winners being based on books.
It seems the Academy, full of old, rich, white men, prefer films about…well, rich, white men.
This bodes well for American Hustle (11/4) and the Martin Scorcese directed The Wolf of Wall Street (8/1). And let’s not forget, that the Yanks were the real heroes of WWII, which the George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men (10/1) makes sure to remind us of.
2. Best Director
The Oscars are all about Hollywood and the American dream, right? Wrong!
In the last 10 years, the Best Director award has gone to non-Americans six times. The last three winners in a row have all gone to those bloody foreigners taking the jobs of hard-working, honest Yanks.
If you think this trend will continue then you’ll find the London-born Steve McQueen (no, not that one) a good bet at 6/4f for 12 Years a Slave.
Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron (4/1) for Gravity while another Englishman in Paul Greengrass is a 25/1 shot for Captain Philips.
I think though, that this year will see an American winning for the first time in four years with my top tips being David O. Russell (7/4 for American Hustle but the The Coen Brothers at a very enticing 8/1 for Inside Llewyn Davis.
3. Best Actor
Tom Hanks is an Oscar whore. Every year the man tries to force himself into Oscar bait (like jail bait, but only not as fun…or illegal) material. This year he’s gone all out by appearing in two films!
In Captain Phillips, Hanks plays the role of an American freighter captain whose ship is taken by Somalian pirates. In Saving Mr. Banks he plays…Walt Disney.
Hanks, a two-time winner for (Philadelphia and Forrest Gump) is 14/1 and 16/1, respectively to pick up a gong for his roles. If he does he’ll be just the second man to bring up the hat-trick – after Daniel Day Lewis.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (a top scrabble score of a name) is 7/4 favourite for his portrayal in 12 Years a Slave. But Robert Redford, (All is Lost) at 11/4, is a decent shout to get the “he’s old and he hasn’t got one yet” win.
The Oscars: Paddy’s latest odds from Tinseltown here