Entertainment: Globes remain best form indicator for Oscars

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Updated: January 11, 2015

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The awards season kicks-off in earnest tomorrow with the 72nd Golden Globe Awards to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. This is one of the more enjoyable awards nights over the next few weeks, mainly due to the fact that guests are served drinks during the ceremony! The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (whose members vote on these awards) occasionally throw a curveball, and punters will be hoping that’s again the case as there are red-hot favourites in virtually every major category.

The Golden Globes are a major indicator for the Academy Awards, for which nominees will be announced later this week. As we’ve discovered in recent years, the best value comes from betting likely Oscar winners before the Golden Globes as the price generally drops significantly after the winners have been announced. That’s going to be bloody tough this year as the Golden Globe favourites are mostly priced at unbackable odds. So let’s hope some value picks emerge ahead of this week’s Oscar nominations, which we’ve previewed below.

 

Best Picture

The likely nominees are … Birdman; Boyhood; Gone Girl; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Selma; The Theory of Everything; Unbroken & Whiplash – and TIW’s winner is Boyhood.

Arthouse audiences will be more familiar with the productions most likely to be nominated for Best Picture, with Gone Girl the only truly mainstream offering likely to join the race. In any case, the eight or nine films tipped to be shortlisted for the honour, including Birdman, The Imitation Game, Unbroken and The Grand Budapest Hotel, will only be making up the numbers. Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking coming of age drama Boyhood is the clear favourite. Filmed over 12 years with the same cast the film is as remarkable as it sounds and has already won Best Picture from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critic Association and New York Film Critics’ Online. Boyhood has also been nominated in the same category by the Golden Globe, Screen Actors’ Guild, Producers Guild of America, Critics’ Choice Awards and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

 

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Best Actor

And the likely nominees are … Michael Keaton (Birdman); Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything); Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game); Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler); Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) – and TIW’s winner is Michael Keaton (pictured above).

If you’re looking for value this is the category to find it, with most of the likely candidates capable of victory. Michael Keaton is the current favourite for his portrayal of Riggan Thomson, an actor known for playing the superhero Birdman looking to re-invent himself by directing and performing in the Broadway play. The story mirrors Keaton’s career and has been compared with Woody Allen’s Bullets over Broadway. The other main contender is Eddie Redmayne for his role as the famous physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne recently overtook Benedict Cumerbatch (The Imitation Game) who could yet walk away with the gold statue. Of the five leading men likely to be nominated the only one who truly doesn’t stand a chance to win is Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler).

 

Best Actress

And the likely nominees are: Jennifer Aniston (Cake); Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything); Julianne Moore (Still Alice); Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl); Reese Witherspoon (Wild) – and TIW’s winner is Julianne Moore.

Julianne Moore is a moral to take this for her portrayal of a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. One contender that could upset her is Jennifer Aniston (Cake). Despite the critics not showing the film a lot of love there is a lot of support for Aniston’s portrayal of Claire, a woman suffering from chronic pain who abuses alcohol and prescription medication. As much as we’d love to see her rewarded for playing against type it’s an unlikely scenario.

 

Best Supporting Actress



And the likely nominees are: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood); Laura Dern (Wild); Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game); Emma Stone (Birdman); Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) – and TIW’s winner is Patricia Arquette.

Patricia Arquette is looking good for a win here for her stoic and lovable take on motherhood in Boyhood. But with the nominations yet to be announced she is the only lock on even being in the running come February 22. In the past few weeks the other four positions, which had looked to be held firmly by Dern, Streep, Knightley and Stone, are now more open. A SAG nomination for Naomi Watts (St Vincent) and a Critics’ Choice nod for Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer) have muddied the waters. Rene Russo (Nightcrawler) is also gaining momentum with a BAFTA nomination. Emma Stone is a major threat to Arquette. Oscar loves a young starlet and her turn as Riggan’s disillusioned daughter in Birdman is strong enough to make her a serious contender.

 

Best Supporting Actor

And the likely nominees are: Robert Duvall (The Judge); Ethan Hawke (Boyhood); Edward Norton (Birdman); Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher); J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) – and TIW’s winner is J.K. Simmons.

J.K. Simmons should have this category in the bag. The character actor delivers the scariest, most intense performance of the year as the tyrannical music instructor Fletcher in Whiplash. Steve Carell who has been campaigning for Best Actor for his transformative role in Foxcatcher could find himself in this category. It wouldn’t be the first time and the Academy wouldn’t be alone in interpreting the role as supporting – Carell has just been placed in that category by the BAFTAs.

 

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