Following a detour in the usual programming last year, the Oscars will return in a more recognisable format on March 27, 2022.
And with the biggest film awards ceremony on the planet comes the usual hype and guess games as to who will walk out of the Dolby Theatre with the biggest prizes up for grabs.
According to Offers.Bet Kristen Stewart is the stand-out pick to win Best Actress for her portrayal of Princess Diana in ‘Spencer,’ but Lady Gaga is an underdog worth backing for the upset.
Awards season opens up the possibilities for punters to get ahead of the crowd and predict such surprises, though some are far easier to spot than others at this point in the years.
It’s not until after Christmas that the awards season really gets into its swing, and the picture comes into view regarding which of the contenders stands a genuine chance at the gong.
Film Threat has broken down the numbers and assessed the leading candidate to win each of the ‘Big Three’ at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress.
Best Picture: Belfast (3/1)
The most difficult to predict of the most talked-about awards, Best Picture tends to be dominated by entries that deal with non-fictional tales that come with a message.
Kenneth Branagh’s latest creation, ‘Belfast’, has all that in spades as it deals with the plight of a nine-year-old boy, Buddy, growing up in the Northern Ireland during the height of The Troubles:
It’s no secret the character of Buddy is loosely based around Branagh’s own experiences of a war-torn Ireland during that period, lending a unique sense of realism to the natural tear-jerker.
Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds are among the cast highlights in a film that will impress those with an intimate knowledge of the subject matter, while educating those who don’t.
Best Actress: Kristen Stewart (8/15)
As aforementioned, it’s the true stories that tend to succeed with judges come award season, and Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of the late Princess of Wales has all the ingredients for an Oscar.
The Twilight actor sheds any teenage-like visage and embodies Diana with grace in Spencer, successfully bringing to life her struggles during some of her toughest times as part of the Royal Family.
The subject matter is particularly pertinent at present given all that’s occurred with Britain’s most famous bloodline in recent years, giving 8/15 favourite Stewart an even bigger boost for Best Actress.
Best Actor: Will Smith (1/2)
Will Smith has received two nominations for the Academy Award without Best Actor without ever getting over the finish line, but there’s a sentiment this year could be his.
That’s following the initial reaction to his performance in ‘King Richard’, which documents the life of Richard Williams, father and coach of superstar tennis duo Venus and Serena:
It’s been 14 years since Smith received the last of those two Best Actor nominations for ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, and King Richard has similar themes around parenthood, sacrifice and family bonds.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is a 2/1 favourite to lift Best Actor ahead of the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Garfield, each of whom are out as far as 12/1 for the prize.