First presented in 1929, the Academy Awards were officially re-branded The Oscars just this month. The annual awards are given in several categories for cinematic achievements of the previous year, and are a major highlight in the entertainment industry. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization of over 5,000 members whose votes decide the winners of different film production disciplines and different branches of movie and film achievement. Primarily composed of working actors, AMPAS annually has a very difficult task ahead of them in choosing the best actor, best actress, best director and other important film achievements from the previous year.
And while The Oscars are one of the most viewed TV shows of the entire year, held this year on Sunday, February 24, you may not have known that many online and brick-and-mortar betting venues see a substantial amount of wagers placed on potential Oscar winners every year, making the Vegas odds on the Oscars a truly hot commodity. The title for Best Actor in a Leading Role pits Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington against each other this year.
Daniel Day-Lewis earned the nomination for an incredible performance in director Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a movie which has received 12 separate nominations in this year’s 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony. Spielberg is a nominee for Best Director, and this is the eighth film in which he has received a Best Picture nomination, winning with Schindler’s List in 1994. Other movies nominated for Best Picture are Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.
We mentioned earlier that every year a surprising number of wagers are placed on who will win the different Oscars categories, and as far as Best Picture goes, Argo and Lincoln are the two films which seem to be the fan favorites. The Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar this year is equally tough for the voters to decide, as Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis and Naomi Watts all turned in incredible performances to earn nomination in this category. For those of you keeping score at home, Emmanuelle Riva’s performance in Amour has her as the current favorite to take home the coveted Best Actress Oscar, along with Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Linings Playbook.
The Best Director Oscar many times accompanies a Best Picture nomination or Oscar, and this year we have Michael Haneke of Amour challenged by Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin, Silver Linings Playbook’s David O. Russell and the Life of Pi’s Ang Lee challenging Spielberg. Are you going to be watching the Oscars Sunday night? And if so, who are your favorites to take home the storied Academy Awards in the major categories? Whether you watch the Oscars for fun, or plan on making a small wager on the outcome, for glitz, glamour and industry recognition the 2013 Academy Awards should not be missed.