Anyone keeping a close eye on the betting for the race for Best Picture at the Oscars will know it's been judged as wide-open for months. Last summer, the magical-drama Beasts of the Southern Wild was the bookies favourite following heavy praise at the film festivals and a buzz surrounding the performance of 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis'. The young actress has since snagged a nomination for Best Actress, though the movie looks unlikely to win the ultimate prize on February 24, 2013.
Upon its release, Les Miserables was fancied for the Oscar, though it may have to settle for a sole acting prize for Anne Hathaway. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln has always been in the mix - a classic Oscars movie with a career best performance from Academy favourite Daniel Day-Lewis. Spielberg's epic strengthened in the market following the Oscars snubbing of Ben Affleck for Best Director. Why would they reward a movie without even acknowledging the efforts of its director? According to the Hollywood Reporter, only one film in the past 80 years has won the Best Picture Oscar without also receiving a best director nod. It makes little sense, though Affleck's Iranian hostage drama has emerged as the odds-on favourite to win Best Picture in Los Angeles next month. On January 10, it beat Lincoln to Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards, winning Best Picture at the Golden Globe awards three days later. This past weekend, it won the PGA and SAG top prizes for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In almost all cases, Lincoln was expected to win.
February 10, 2013, is a key date for the fate of Ben Affleck's Argo - the BAFTA Awards in London. Around 500 of BAFTA's 6,500 members are UK based members of the Academy, accounting for around 8 per cent of its overall membership. Should Argo win Best Picture, the odds of its winning big at the Oscars will plummet even further. A clue potentially lies in the fact that BAFTA members have nominated Affleck for best director AND best actor.
Argo is the best movie of the year and deserves to be rewarded at the Academy Awards next month. Ben Affleck will have all but forgotten his directorial snub should he be forced to use his scribbled acceptance speech on February 24, 2014.
Watch The Argo Trailer: