Oscar Odds: 150 days to go… what movies are in?

By Devin Fuller TGK Correspondent With 150 days to go until the 84th Academy Awards, let’s consider the Oscar Odds of some of this year...

By Devin Fuller
TGK Correspondent

With 150 days to go until the 84th Academy Awards, let’s consider the Oscar Odds of some of this year’s early contenders. It has been 50 days since we last evaluated the year’s potential Best Picture nominees, and since then a few more films have popped up to try and gain Oscar’s attention. In this round we have a deadly virus, MMA fighters, a stunt driver, housemaids, a general manager and a few retired government agents. Will any of them take home Oscar gold? Here are the odds:


'The Help'
The closest to a sure thing in this crop of contenders, "The Help" is both a critical and commercial success. Based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett, "The Help" has already grossed more than $140 million at the box office. Director Tate Taylor burst out of virtually nowhere to deliver a surprise hit in the doldrums of summer, and Academy voters are not likely to overlook this fact. The film’s material is Oscar bait (black housemaids overcoming racism in 1960s Louisiana), the performances are memorable (especially Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) and there is even a little bit of controversy to keep tongues wagging. So far, "The Help" is the one to beat.
Best Picture Odds: 2:3

'Moneyball'
Based on a true story, Bennett Miller’s "Moneyball" could easily become this year’s Oscar “sports movie.” Think "The Blind Side" or "Seabiscuit." Starring two-time Academy Award nominee Brad Pitt, Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and funny guy Jonah Hill, the film is an underdog story about general manager Billy Beane’s attempt to put together a baseball club using computer-generated analysis. Positive reviews and a script by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin (who just won an Academy Award for "The Social Network") ensure it as a definite player for Oscar gold. Plus, we know the Academy will take any chance they can to get Brangelina to attend the ceremony. (Read: The TGK review.)
Best Picture Odds: 8:1

'Warrior'
Mixing feuding brothers, tough parents and lots of people smacking each other around, Gavin O’Connor’s MMA drama certainly shares DNA with last year’s Best Picture nominee "The Fighter," and Lionsgate has been pushing it hard for Academy attention. Despite good reviews, the film hasn’t really broken out with audiences the way "The Fighter" did though. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton both give fine performances, but if anyone’s getting a nod, it will be Nick Nolte, who is giving some career-best work. But the Academy is unlikely to recognize two sports movies, and "Moneyball" has a far more distinguished pedigree than "Warrior."
Best Picture Odds: 10:1

'Drive'
Nicolas Winding Refn’s film won the prize for Best Director at Cannes, received rave reviews and features Academy Award nominees Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in its lead roles. However, it’s also a shockingly violent genre thriller about a stunt man who moonlights as a getaway driver — not typical Oscar material. Yet Refn executes "Drive" with such efficient style and effortlessness that it could definitely be a dark horse contender. It had a soft opening, but if it takes any critic’s prizes this fall, it could definitely steal a nomination from another film that might not meet expectations.
Best Picture Odds: 10:1

'Contagion'
Directed by Stephen Soderbergh with an all-star cast, "Contagion" follows what happens after a deadly virus breaks out across the world (naturally, Gwyneth Paltrow is responsible). Big, shiny names like Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Marion Cotillard lend their talents to Soderbergh’s grand and scary vision, and the film makes an effective PSA for washing one’s hands. "Contagion" is comparable to "Traffic" in that it’s centered around multiple people responding to a single issue, but that’s about where the similarities end. "Contagion" is riveting stuff (and apparently scientifically accurate), but it’s not going to be a player at this year’s Academy Awards.
Best Picture Odds: 15:1

'The Debt'
John Madden last had a date with Oscar for 1998’s Best Picture winner "Shakespeare in Love." But while the film won the night’s biggest prize, the Best Director award went to Steven Spielberg for "Saving Private Ryan." "The Debt" boasts a cast including Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, "Avatar" star Sam Worthington, and buzzed about newcomer (and "The Help" star) Jessica Chastain. And it has a plot involving the Holocaust, a subject that numerous Oscar winners have mined before ("Schindler’s List," "The Reader"). But no one is really talking about the movie. "The Debt" is proof that a good pedigree is not enough to make it to the Oscar race.
Best Picture Odds: 20:1

What movies do you think have the best odds at next year's Oscars? Let us know by commenting here, on Twitter or Facebook. We'll recap more odds with 100 days to go.

Previous odds
"Midnight in Paris" — Best Picture odds: 2:3
"The Tree of Life" — Best Picture odds: 3:2
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2" – Best Picture odds: 10:1
"Beginners" – Best Picture odds: 12:1
"Jane Eyre" – Best Picture odds: 13:1
"Cars 2" – Best Picture odds: 15:1
"Meek’s Cutoff" – Best Picture odds: 15:1
"Super 8" – Best Picture odds: 20:1
"Bridesmaids" – Best Picture odds: 30:1
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" – Best Picture odds: 1,000:1
(Read the full post here.)

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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news, predictions and insight: Oscar Odds: 150 days to go… what movies are in?
Oscar Odds: 150 days to go… what movies are in?
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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news, predictions and insight
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