The patters of recent years mostly saw The Golden Globes and The BAFTAs awarding a common film with their Best Picture trophy, and the Academy Awards later choosing a different film as their victor. However, this year we already had a deviation from the rule: the Golden Globe went to Bohemian Rhapsody, whereas the BAFTA went to Roma. The latter was the strong favourite to triumph at the Oscars as well, despite the fact that another movie titled The Favourite was in the running for the same award.
We thought it might be fun to see how the pre-ceremony predictions compare to the actual results – and what better way to find an aggregate of expectations and predictions by looking at betting odds? To exclude the influence of any major shifts following other awards and events, we did the research on 20 February, four days before the ceremony took place. For consistency purposes, we looked at the decimal version of the odds from the popular betting website Paddy Power, and selected the 10 most important categories.
Roma (1.25) Green Book (5.00)
Let’s start with the biggest award, which was a unexpected surprise. Green Book, a film with mixed critic reception, but much loved by audiences (including myself, since I placed it on par with The Favourite as my favourite of the selected bunch), won Best Picture, to the shock of many. It was certainly interesting to see Peter Farrelly, the creator and director of Dumb and Dumber, accept a Best Picture Oscar, but hey, stranger things have happened – and it was very well deserved! In my humble opinion, it was the first time in years that the Academy made a better pick than the Globes and BAFTAs.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma (1.05)
It would take a huge upset to beat an odd of 1.05, and it hasn’t happened this time around. Roma might have lost the big one, but it got Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film, so it’s not all that bad for the Mexican mood piece. And, as a fun fact, five of the last six Best Director awards have been won by Mexican filmmakers: twice by Alfonso Cuaron, twice by Alejandro Inarritu, and once by Guillermo del Toro.
Best Actor: Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody (1,2)
In a night when the Queen biopic took home the highest number of awards, Rami Malek was one of those who took a statue home for his faithful and energetic portrayal of Freddy Mercury. As always, there’s a betting odd on whether the winner will drop his or her Oscar on stage – Rami didn’t do that, but actually fell off the stage himself, eventually prompting a new betting category for next year.
Glenn Close for The Wife (1.17) Olivia Colman for The Favourite (5.00)
The fact that frequently-nominated-but-always-snubbed Glenn Close would finally get some closure with her first Oscar win seemed to be a given prior to the ceremony. Everybody was shocked when the award instead went to the second second favourite The Favourite star, Olivia Colman, for her crazy good portrayal of Queen Anne. It ended up in what was by far the best acceptance speech of the night, so I’m sure nobody regrets that decision.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali for Green Book (1.06)
No upset in this category, which allowed the True Detective season finale to roll with its co-star as the owner of not one but two Oscar statuettes. All in all, it was a thoroughly deserved performance for the prolific actor, who rarely puts a foot wrong and has delivered prime quality material year in, year out.
Best Supporting Acress: Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk (1.36)
Both Amy Adams and Rachel Weisz were not that far behind in the pegging order, but they couldn’t keep the statuette away from Regina King, who managed the enviable performance of winning the first Oscar she had been nominated for. This was the only award that Barry Jenkins’ film ended up receiving at the ceremony.
Best Original Screenplay:
The Favourite (1.50) Green Book (2.88)
Despite running away with a heap of awards at the BAFTAs, The Favourite could not replicate that performance and had to leave with only one award to its name, which definitely saddened me. Probably in an effort to strengthen its case for Best Picture, Green Book took away the Best Original Screenplay award – but, once again, no complaints here, as the screenplay was outstanding to say the least!
Best Adapted Screenplay: Blackkklansman (1.25)
Based on the book by Ron Stallworth, the main character of Spike Lee’s movie, Blackkklansman successfully managed to fight off competition from If Beale Street Could Talk and Can You Ever Forgive Me to win its one Oscar for the night.
Best Cinematography: Roma (1.06)
Even the ones who labelled Roma as too much of a slow burn – even the ones who outright hated it – unanimously gave credit to its marvelous cinematography. All reviews that I stumbled upon on IMDb, whether they rated the film 1 or 10, included the syntagma ‘beautiful style’ or ‘visually stunning’ at one point or another. The closest candidate was Cold War, but in the end it wasn’t much of a battle.
Vice (2.2) Bohemian Rhapsody (3.25)
The last of our category picks, and the last upset. Interestingly enough, this was won by the third favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody. In the end, Vice had to settle for its one Oscar, for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, which is a bit of a consolation, but still not one of the most important awards.