La La Land is a virtual lock to win this year's Academy Awards Best Picture and although the Oscar odds makers have made this a prohibitive favorite, is there an upset in the making?
Before we look at long shots, we must know what other theatrical gems are competing against the prohibitive favorite to win the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture.
La La Land 1-7
Manchester By the Sea 12-1
Hidden Figures 12-1
Hacksaw Ridge 66-1
Hell or High Water 100-1
In its 89-year history, only 10 musicals have won Best Picture. In 2002, Chicago snapped a 34-year drought of musicals without a Best Picture Oscar. Fast forward to 2017 and we now have La La Land poised to join such legendary musicals as West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964) and the Sound of Music (1965) as an Academy Award winner. Musicals have fallen out of cinematic favor since the 1960s and instead have been the domain of Tony Awards, where Broadway adores a cleverly crafted musical.
But this year La La Land has taken the hearts and minds of the critics, capturing a slew of awards at the Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice, as well as a host of others. The light-hearted musical is up for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards, ranging from Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director all the way to Best Picture. However, the voting for Best Picture is different from all the other categories. Every other category winner is determined by one vote per voter. Best Picture employs the preferential ballot system, which means voters rank the Best Picture nominees. If one movie garners more than half the votes, it will win the Oscar. However, that isn’t likely to happen on the first ballot, and if not the movie with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated and its ballots are apportioned to the others. This process continues until one film has the requisite 50 percent plus one majority.
This is the reason Spotlight upset the Revenant last year, and it could make for another upset at this year’s Academy Awards. The movie getting tons of buzz from people who know about such things is Hidden Figures. The parallel between Spotlight and Hidden Figures is that both won Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards. This could very well portend a stunning upset, and with betting odds of 12-1 I would say that is a mighty healthy return.
Check out SBR's Academy Awards Betting Menu for all the odds and the Hidden Figures trailer below.