Hollywood’s big night! Intrigue, famous faces, fashion, and, of course, the movies. It’s a close race this year, with whisper campaigns and promotion to rival any election. As always, bookmakers around the globe have tallied the odds-on favorites.
No golden Oscars have been lost this year, but rumors of smear tactics against A Beautiful Mind are rampant. Stories abound that the movie is a very loose interpretation of real events and that the real John Nash (the schizophrenic economist on whom the story is based) made anti-Semitic comments and fathered an illegitimate child. Does it matter? It shouldn’t, but it makes for good press and controversy breeds interest.
The Net teems with critical predictions. Start at Oscar.com for the official rundown and nominee list. CNN critics square off in an Oscar debate. Roger Ebert always has something to say. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s for stories, predictions and the “inside dirt”. Enjoy the lighter side of Oscar with Yahoo’s Oscar Pool. And I never miss an article by humorist Dave Barry who has a skewed view of the awards, to say the least.
On with the odds!
Betbrain.com provides links to many bookmaker sites, including Gamebookers and Victor Chandler. Betbrain does a nice job averaging bookmaker predictions. Overall, average odds give The Best Picture nod to A Beautiful Mind (-178) with The Lord of the Rings second (+163).
Australian bookmaker CanBet.com favors the following: Best Picture-A Beautiful Mind (-175); Best Actor-Russell Crowe (-200); Best Actress-Sissy Spacek (-167); Supporting Actor-Ian McKellan (+100); Supporting Actress-Jennifer Connelly (-455); Best Director-Ron Howard (-161).
And Vegas, you ask? Legally speaking, “Nevada sports books may legally only take wagers on events that are decided openly on a field of play, like a game or a race,” says an archived article from Poker.com. Since the Oscar ballots are already sitting in a vault somewhere, this type of betting is off-limits in Nevada.
My Two Bits:
For the first year in many I have seen all the Best Picture nominees. I am disappointed that Memento was neglected. But I like the broad spectrum of this year’s pics, so I grade them from 1-10:
Gosford Park: 8/10: character driven English period peace, rich in dialogue and subtlety.
A Beautiful Mind: 7/10: pseudo-true story of a brilliant poker deposit pulsa mind battling itself and the world around.
In The Bedroom: 8/10: Slow-moving piece with realistic characters, stays with you like the memory of a great meal.
The Lord of the Rings: 9/10: What can I say; I’m a Tolkien fan, having screamed through all 3 books in advance of the first film. The movie had it all, but I fear the “fantasy” aspect may hurt Oscar chances for the meatier awards of best picture/director. *my best picture pick*
Moulin Rouge: 8/10: As a rule I avoid musicals but my wife dragged me to this one, and I came away with respect for the scope and pure Bohemian joy evident on screen.