The Academy Awards are just around the corner, and you could not ask for a more diverse
genre-filled catalogue of films in this year’s best picture category list. With such an array of
different filmmaking styles explored in the action, drama, fantasy, horror and comedy films listed,
they all have something in common… they will blow your socks off.

Normally each year, one or two of the movies listed would stand out, and it’d be easy to foresee
the winner. For example, last year it was pretty obvious it was going to be either La La Land or
Moonlight to receive Best Picture. However, this year, it’s pretty tough to decide. All the films
include stunning visuals, interesting themes and gripping plots such as: the events surrounding
the battle of Dunkirk; post-war dressmaking; a grieving mother’s bold move of erecting three
billboards to try and solve her daughter’s murder; a young African-American’s nightmare
weekend at his white girlfriend’s parent’s secluded estate; the Washington Post’s attempt to
publish the Pentagon Papers; a summer relationship between a seventeen year old boy and his
father’s research assistant; a coming-of- age story of a young girl longing for adventure; and the
relationship between a lonely janitor and an amphibious man.

All the films are highly rated and all received universal acclaim by critics, making it tricky for
those who enjoy their yearly Oscar bet. I’d consider placing my money on McDonagh’s Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri to win. However the bookies say differently. According to
Paddypower.com, Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance The Shape of Water, is believed to be
the champion at 10/11 odds. Making the potential win of a £1 bet to be 91p. Second on the list is
Three Billboards at 11/8, and then Ladybird at 10/1. With the return you’d get, it seems pointless
to bet on Del Toro to win best film and best director (1/3). The same goes for Three Billboard’s
Frances McDormand to win best actress (1/4), who will, judging by her performance and her
wins already, almost definitely take home the Oscar statuette.

There are few underdogs in this year’s awards, whom I believe show promise to win in their
category, as well as currently having particularly good odds:

Best Actor – Timothee Chalamet in ‘Call Me by Your Name’ (12/1). Destined to be modern
cinema’s finest actor, Chalamet’s breath taking performance as ‘Elio’ has been overshadowed by
Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill.

Best Actress – Saoirse Ronan in ‘Lady Bird’ (5/1). Already winning a Golden Globe for her
performance in Lady Bird, and for being nominated for an Oscar twice in the past already, this
could be Saoirse’s year.

Best Cinematography– Hoyte Van Hoytema ‘Dunkirk’ (7/2). With the visually stunning Blade
Runner 2049 in line to win the cinematography award, BAFTA nominated Van Hoytema could be
a true underdog in this category for his creative work on Dunkirk.
Please bet responsibly.

Alexandros Skarlatos

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