Oscars Betting: Will the Academy have Amour for Tarantino?


You might have noticed that there have been lots of film award shows on television lately, that no one really cares about. That’s because the Oscars is about to ride into town. The film awards that a lot of people really do care about.

These lesser award shows seem to service only two functions. The first is to feed Hollywood’s great and good with yet another free lunch. The second is to give an indication as to which film, or which actor/actress might win an Oscar.

So as Argo has won the best drama award at the Golden Globes and was named as best film at the Baftas, we can be reasonably sure that it will also win the Best Picture award at the Oscars.

All of which, explains the measly odds of 1.20 for Ben Affleck’s film to be awarded the statuette. Argo’s closest rival in the betting is Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln at 5.00. 

Both are based on historical events, as are so many films that win the Oscar’s most glittering prize. It is Lincoln that is mired in the most obviously Oscar-friendly territory, with it’s portrayal of the final four months of America’s most admired President.

Yet unfortunately for Spielberg, his film is not a patch on Argo. Daniel Day Lewis is a cert for a Best Actor award, but as a film Lincoln will be forgotten in a way that it’s subject has never been.

A far more interesting market that pits these two films against each other is for the Best Adapted Screenplay. Lincoln leads the betting at 1.60 for this award, with Argo at 2.65.

The Bafta for adapted screenplay was won by Silver Linings Playbook, which is available at 10.00 to win the Oscar. This could be a chance for the Academy to acknowledge David O.Russell’s excellent film and it could be worth backing this and Argo.

Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes don’t make a distinction between original and adapted screenplays, simply giving an award for best screenplay. This year that award went to Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, beating both Argo and Lincoln.

Tarintino is favourite to triumph at the Oscars at 2.15, but it’s a competitive market, with Zero Dark Thirty at 2.75 and Amour at 3.25.

Django is a showy script with dialogue to die for. As well as the Golden Globe award, it also won the best original screenplay at the Baftas. 

It has been 18 years since Tarantino last won an Oscar with Pulp Fiction (also in the best original screenplay category). You wonder if this controversial film, that very much continues Tarantino’s habit of making ‘movie movies’, will be the one to break that run.

Enjoyable as it was, Django Unchained doesn’t feel like a film that the Academy will take to their hearts. The value might instead lie with Michael Haneke’s foreign-language masterpiece Amour, but as always, it will all come down to what the Oscar voters love the most.

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