One of the things people can wager on at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, which begins at 8:30 ET on Sunday, February 26th, is whether or not there will be any slip-ups by camera operators that show the name “Kodak Theater” on the side of the building.
For those who don’t know yet, Kodak’s financial woes have caused the company to stop paying to have its name on the theater where the golden Oscar statutettes are handed out.
While Las Vegas oddsmakers post “odds” on who will win what, you can’t legally wager on who will win an Oscar. But there are office pools, contests and the like across the nation, so here is Tail Slate’s take on the awards.
Best Actor is considered to be a two-horse race between George Clooney (The Descendents) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist). Among the other nominees, Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) is the dark horse, with Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and Demian Bichir (A Better Life) given little hope of winning.
Many think that a long overdue to win Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) will end her nearly 30 year run of many nominations but no new Oscars, while others believe that Viola Davis’ turn in The Help will keep Streep’s streak of nominations-without-victory intact. Little thought is given to the other nominees in this category.
Max von Sydow is the dark-horse nominee in the race for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a film that the primarily older, white, male audience among Oscar voters seems to prefer, but the favorites in this category are Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn).
On the other hand, almost everyone is working under the impression that the box office smash The Help will garner gold with Octavia Spencer the winner in Best Supporting Actress, in spite of the fact that Jessica Chastain, also nominated for The Help held her own in her scenes with the brilliance of Spencer. Watch out for the extreme love that The Artist has garnered in Hollywood to make Berenice Bejo the dark-horse surprise winner in this category. It could happen that way.
Martin Scorsese already has a Best Director Oscar, so his work on Hugo will most likely not garner him any gold on Sunday. The most likely winner of this award will be Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. This category’s dark horse is the brilliant Alexander Payne (The Descendants), who Tail Slate believes should put out more films more often, if he can keep delivering with the excellence of what we’ve seen thus far.
There are 9 Best Picture nominees, but all eyes are on The Artist. A victory for any other film in this category would be a major surprise and upset, but again, given the membership of the Academy as exposed in an excellent piece in the L.A. Times earlier this week, there is a chance that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close might surprise here. If I could book a bet in this category though, I’d bet it all on The Artist.
If you want to make a bet on the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday and you want to be sure to win, put your money on Joan Rivers taking potshots at the outfits of several of the actresses will be wearing as they walk the red carpet. That’s the safest Oscar wager you can make.