Last year’s Academy Awards, airing February 24 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC, have had a bumpy road, with announced (and retracted) category changes and an ultimately fruitless search for a host (the series will proceed with no bunch for the first time since 1989). However they stay the betting opportunity of the year, with competitive odds in many categories.
For your 91st Academy Awards, Las Vegas-based film critic Josh Bell offers his insights to the best stakes in the major classes and which films should walk away with the awards–and the cash.
Roma 4/1
Green Book 6/1
The Favourite 15/2
BlacKkKlansman 15/2
Black Panther 15/2
A Star Is Born 8/1
Bohemian Rhapsody 19/2
Vice 19/2
What Will Win: This year has been more volatile than most, with assorted controversies and disagreements surrounding a range of nominees, in addition to the service itself. So it is tougher to select a Greatest Picture frontrunner that is clear based on momentum from prior awards. Roma might seem like the clear choice based on its own BAFTAs and Critics’ Choice wins, however a film not from the English language hasn’t won Best Picture earlier, and seasoned Academy members may nonetheless be resistant to awarding a Netflix production. Green Book, with its generally Oscar-friendly story about beating racial differences, inspired by true events, could probably be the safest bet, though objections in the family of subject Don Shirley and disagreeable news stories about director Peter Farrelly and co-writer Nick Vallelonga have tarnished its odds a bit. Do not count out old-school Hollywood crowd-pleaser A Star Is Born or offbeat period drama (always a favourite Academy genre) The Favourite, possibly.
What Should Win: Though its LGBT-focused narrative, off-kilter style and quirky sense of humor may be a bit too much for Academy members, The Favourite is the best and most creative of this year’s nominees, a brilliantly acted, darkly funny story about the intersection of sexual desire and political ability, a lot more incisive and enjoyable than the muddled Vice. It may be easier for voters to recognize the person achievements than the movie as a whole, but it’s more than worthy of this award.

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