The granddaddy of all award shows will be beamed live into your living room on Sunday night February 22nd when the 87th Academy Awards take center stage.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (+1200)
The Imitation Game (+2000)
Theory of Everything (+2500)
American Sniper (+5000)
I’m not getting the whole Boyhood thing this season but it sounds like the perfect movie for a NAMBLA convention. Anyway, the Oscars odds on the twelve-year masterpiece reflect the Golden Globes already won and the six Academy Award nominations received. It is probably a lock to take home the hardware for Best Picture but not enough that I’m going to lay -1400 on the capricious nature of the glitterati who vote for such things.
So let’s turn our attention elsewhere. American Sniper was spectacular but perhaps a bit too patriotic for the commies in the crowd. The Theory of Everything, a biopic of the world renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, may prove a bit too dry for the tastes of the judges whose biggest cerebral hurdle is trying to figure out whether to wear Chanel or Vera Wang to the big event.
Whiplash follows a formulaic blueprint we’ve all seen before of the mentor pushing the talented protégé. The Grand Budapest Hotel was as tedious as the city itself is foreign to the rest of the world. Birdman, starring the nearly forgotten Michael Keaton, is interesting but alas depressing. The Imitation Game deals with cracking Nazi codes but that’s bordering on a little too much brain work for the esteemed panel. Therefore my choice is Selma with Oscars betting odds of +1800. It recalls the Civil Rights march Martin Luther King led culminating in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Acts Right of 1965. This is right up the judge’s alley as they will feign to courageously ally themselves with the Ferguson crowd and demonstrate that they really do care about people they wouldn’t invite to their cocktail parties.
Free 2015 Oscar Pick: Selma +1800
Richard Linklater – Boyhood (-1400)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman (+650)
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher (+2500)
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game (+2500)
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel (+2500)
If a picture is heralded far and wide, garnering accolades from people who matter and awards that count, does it mean the director is automatically as sublime as the film he or she directed? It’s kind of like NFL Coach of the Year. The winner is not always the coach of the Super Bowl champion so I guess before making any 2015 Oscar pick, we have to look at which director had the least to work with in terms of proven dramatic talent.
Under that premise I cannot imagine any director getting more out of comedic actor Steve Carrell or pretty boy Channing Tatum who moved out of their comfort zones and morphed seamlessly into legitimate dramatic actors. And don’t get me started on the outstanding performance of Mark Ruffalo.
Free 2015 Oscar Pick: Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher +2500
Michael Keaton – Birdman (-125)
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything (Even)
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game (+1200)
Steve Carrell – Foxcatcher (+2500)
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper (+3300)
It’s hard to argue that any of these actors don’t warrant bringing home the Oscar to put on their mantle or in their closet depending of course upon their respective egos. While I have already made a case for Steve Carrell it would be equally impossible to overlook Bradley Cooper’s stunning transformation from Hang Over stud to Sniper sensation. However, Eddie Redmayne didn’t just act the part of Stephen Hawking – he became it.
Free 2015 Oscar Pick: Eddie Redmayne (Even)
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