On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, the film industry, including actors and actresses alike, will descend on California to take part in the 88th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
It should be noted that even if you are not up to date with pop-culture news, you should know that this is Leonardo DiCaprio's world and we are all just living in it.
The 41-year-old seemingly does and gets what he wants at the snap of a finger. The only thing missing from this Hollywood superstar's resume (girls included) is a shinny trophy, which measures 13.5 inches tall and weighs in at eight and a half pounds.
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DiCaprio currently has zero Oscar wins in three attempts to win Best Actor. Many pundits are saying this is his year given the grueling environments he had to endure to make "The Revenant"
He is currently listed at -10000 to take home the award for Best Actor, which makes him the highest-priced favorite in a major category this year. Only "Inside Out" (Best Animated Feature) comes into the day with the same predicted success rate at -10000
Let's take a look at the major categories and run down the best odds and value for the nominees. All odds can be found at Bovada.
• The Revenant -225
• Spotlight +225
• The Big Short +350
• Mad Max: Fury Road +10000
• The Martian +10000
• Room +10000
• Bridge of Spies +15000
- Brooklyn +20000
This could quite possibly be the most wide-open major category for an award to be handed out. The books are siding with the Alejandro Inarritu's "The Revenant", but it would be quite a surprise to see him win this award two years in a row (he won it with "Birdman" last year).
"The Revenant" has been climbing the polls over the last month or so after taking home three Golden Globe Awards (best actor, best drama and best director) as well as a SAG for best actor.
"Spotlight" was the early frontrunner. However, the question remains to be seen if it will have enough staying power and support from the association to hang with the big guns of Hollywood.
If I had to choose the winner, I would look to the X-factor of this category: an angry bear versus a group of scrappy journalists. Knowing the way the world works, the bear gets the nod and "The Revenant" gets the Oscar.
• Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) -10000
• Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) +1400
• Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) +1400
• Matt Damon (The Martian) +2500
• Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) +5000
The time is now for Leo. If not now, it may never happen.
Rightfully so, Leo is leading the pack and is heading into Sunday's gala as the overwhelming favorite to capture his first Oscar for Best Actor.
DiCaprio has played the "grueling conditions" card perfectly, in my opinion. His interviews have helped the Association and public understand what it took to film this movie. From sub-zero temperatures in Alberta, to eating raw liver (Leo is a vegetarian), to the five-hour costume and make-up sessions. Leo went all in for this role and he will be rewarded.
The only other contender that might be worth a look (not recommended) is Michael Fassbender. He gave a performance who some say was "a towering performance of savage wit and limitless firepower" when he portrayed Apple genius Steve Jobs.
• Brie Larson (Room) -5000
• Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) +900
• Cate Blanchett (Carol) +2000
• Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) +3300
• Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) +4000
"Room" is one of the top 10 lowest-grossing Best Picture nominees. Can you image how unappreciated this film would be if they didn't cast Brie Larson as the main character?
Brie Larson already has a Golden Globe and SAG win for her performance, and her victory here might just give more people a real reason to actually see the movie.
The big names in this category like Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence have had their Oscar moments already. And while they may be worth a sprinkle for value; this category is about as locked down as Brie and her on-screen son were while filming this movie.
• Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant) -1000
• George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) +500
• Adam McKay (The Big Short) +1600
• Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) +1600
• Lenny Abrahamson (Room) +6600
Win Best Director, win Best Picture. That seems to be the common theme regarding these two major categories. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is likely (-600) to pick up this win once again after taking home best picture, best director and best original screenplay at last year's Oscars with his film 'Birdman'.
The only outside shot I see contending for this award is George Miller for "Mad Max: Fury Road". This is the 70 year olds first nomination, and if the Association stays the course, there will no be a repeat winner and they will breathe fresh life into this category in the form of Miller. Definitely worth a sprinkle for value.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
• Sylvester Stallone (Creed) -400
• Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) +300
• Tom Hardy (The Revenant) +1000
• Christian Bale (The Big Short) +2000
• Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) +4000
And the Oscar goes to . . . Sylvester Stallone. Is there anyone not rooting for Stallone to win gold 39 years after he lost the Best Actor race for the same role in Rocky? The 69-year-old star - already a seasoned pro at climbing up a flight of steps - is the sentimental choice here among voters and fans alike. He is also the correct one.
The only possible Apollo Creed in this category that could beat Rocky is Tom Hardy for his role in The Revenant. It's hard to ignore the momentum The Revenant is gaining, but in the end it will be to little too late,
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
• Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) -275
• Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) +325
• Rooney Mara (Carol) +450
• Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) +3300
• Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) +7500
This is the closest category to call, and as a fan of Titanic, it is difficult to resist the image of Kate and Leo photo opps with their Oscars.
However, there is no denying Alicia Vikander's position as the current "It Girl" who enjoyed a monster breakout year. She just won the SAG, and there are some critics saying that her role in The Danish Girl should have been in the Best Actress category.
If the Golden Globes are any indication, there could be some value on Kate Winslet (+325), but I just do not think what was old is new again. Give the Oscar to Vikander.
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