I always find it interesting to take a look at the betting odds around November or December each year, to see which the early favourites are for the award season ahead. It’s a rather entertaining endeavor, as it shows the evolution of the favourites, and how they may or may not change radically once nominations start to actually be announced. So, here are the early favourites according to betting odds as of today – the top 4 at least, with the other two being a bit further down the list, but could improve in the coming weeks due to their big name status.
If there ever was a film meant to do well at awards, it’s this one – especially since Steven Spielberg is the one direction. It’s about a young man, who grows in post-WWII Arizona, and aspires to become a great filmmaker one day. It’s a classic type of film that people in the industry rate very highly – two of the latest ones at least got plenty of nominations: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Mank. Starring Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle and Paul Dano, it remains to be seen if it will be as liked as expected.
Do you remember the masterpiece that Mr Nobody was? Well, this comes close in terms of idea… in a way. Already out for a while and being very well received, this film takes a look at a Chinese immigrant who suddenly has the ability to explore alternate universes via the lives she could have led, had she chosen differently. It’s distinctive, it’s unorthodox… an A24 film through and through. Here’s hoping it will receive the appreciation it deserves.
More similar in type and structure with the first entry on the list, Babylon offers another window into early Hollywood. While The Fablemans seems to mostly deal with the quest of an individual of becoming a great filmmaker, Babylon deals more with the industry, and the rise and fall of many giants of the time. Tharring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, among others.
One cannot talk about Martin McDonagh the playwright without mentioning two of his very best: The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. The last of his Aran Islands trilogy, The Banshees of Inisheer was never produced and published. But, fortunately, we are seeing the result in movie form. It reunites Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in a very Irish tale – and following the utter failure of the Academy Awards to properly recognise McDonagh for Three Billboards, here’s the chance to do it in rightful fashion.
I know, it’s quite unlikely that the 13-years-later sequel to Avatar will be scooping up the Best Picture award. Back in 2009, the original Avatar impressed especially through its visuals – receiving 3 Oscar wins in these categories – but also otherwise – receiving nominations for Best Picture, Directing and Editing, among others. Given the fact that James Cameron put a lot of work (and money) into the follow-ups, it’s reasonable to expect Avatar 2 to at least score some nominations.
Looking solely at how it was received by the public, Top Gun Maverick would likely top the list of current favourites. It sits on the #81 spot of IMDb’s best rated films of all time, with a very respectable 8.4/10 out of almost half a million votes. It’s doing way better than the original Top Gun, which won a single Oscar for music, and was nominated for three other minor awards back in 1987. It’s not the type of film that usually gets a lot of recognition from the major awards, but who knows what might happen this time around?