In which direction should your outlandish wagers be pointed this year?
Sitting around with a bunch of friends, eating bad (good) food and trying to guess who’s going to win each category is really fun. But putting some money on the proceedings can add to the fun, and it’s only really worth it if you’re going to win big, big money. Here are some rank outsiders with a chance of winning you some Oscars dough.
Nebraska for Best Picture – 250/1
Bruce Dern is also nominated in the Best Actor category
Why not? Come on. Alexander Payne’s black ‘n’ white road movie -- featuring Bruce Dern as the feckless, stubborn and naïve Woody alongside Will Forte as his polite son, David -- is a delightful film. What’s more, it’s inoffensive, amidst a host of films that raise important, difficult questions (12 Years a Slave: slavery, Dallas Buyers Club: HIV protocol in the 80s, Gravity: the Chinese and Russian space programs, Wolf of Wall Street: everything). With its languid pace, easy-listening soundtrack and heart-warming father & son tale just might charm The Adacemy.
Michal Fassbender for Best Supporting Actor – 14/1
Michael Fassbender alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
The Fass gives a terrifyingly haunting performance as Edwin Epps – the plantation owner that bought Soloman Northrup from his previous owner, Mr. Ford – in 12 Years a Slave. He’s uncompromising, unflinching and evil, and despite being one of the most vile characters in recent memory, his affecting performance is undoubtedly impressive. At 14/1 – behind the favourite Jared Leto – Fassbender represents great value, as does his fellow nominee, Barkhad Abdi, also at 14s.
Blue Jasmine for Best Original Screenplay – 25/1
Bobby Cannavle [R], Max Casella and Woody Allen [R] On The Set of 'Blue Jasmine'
Woody Allen’s reputation took a further hit recently when Dylan Farrow released an open letter to the New York Times. Innocent or guilty, we’re not the ones to judge, but his latest film is certainly one of his best. Blue Jasmine is probably as long as 25/1 because of the recent controversy, but it isn’t the Academy’s place to decide on his guilt; and what’s more, Original Screenplay is Wody Allen’s category.
Saving Mr. Banks for Best Original Score – 33/1
Saving Mr Banks' score has a great chance of winning tomorrow night
There’s basically no calling this one. Gravity is the favourite; Her is close behind. Neither one of them had particularly memorable scores, or at least neither of them should be remembered for their scores. Saving Mr. Banks features a light-hearted score, composed by Thomas Newman, who has a total of 12 Oscar nominations under his belt; he’s never won one, but a quick look at his filmography tells you that this is a man with serious pedigree. 33/1 is a great price for someone with just as much a chance of winning it as anyone else.