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Joaquin Phoenix is an overwhelming favorite to win Best Actor at next weekend’s Academy Awards for his performance in Joker. He’s currently at -2200 on Bovada, which, for those of you who don’t gamble means you would have to bet $2200 in order to win $100. It’s rare to see that much of a prohibitive favorite at anything, but amusingly, Phoenix isn’t even the biggest favorite at the upcoming Oscars. Nope, that honor instead would belong to Parasite.
The brilliant South Korean film is nominated for 6 Academy Awards, and it’s going to be in a major fight in 5 of them. It’s entirely possible it’ll end up losing all 5 too, especially the high profile categories Best Picture and Best Director, but in the Best International Feature Film category (yes, this used to be called Best Foreign Language Film), Parasite is a hysterical -6000 over at Bovada. So, once again, to put that in specific terms, you would need to bet $6000 in order to make $100.
Now, I’m sure there’s more than a 1 in 60 chance Parasite will lose. Maybe voters will go for it in the Best Picture category and decide instead to reward something like Pain and Glory in Best International Feature Film because they won’t want to vote for the same movie in multiple categories. Highly unlikely but possible. What’s actually going on here, however, is that Bovada and other oddsmakers clearly don’t want to take any action on Parasite. Even if it loses 1 out of 40 times and the odds are technically in their favor, it’s so likely Parasite is going to win that it’s not even worth the risk.
As for the other major categories, we’re likely in for quite a bit of fun in two and almost certainly a snoozefest in the rest of the acting categories. Renee Zellweger in Best Actress and Brad Pitt in Best Supporting are almost as big of favorites (-2000) as Joaquin Phoenix in Best Actor and even Laura Dern in Best Supporting Actress is in great shape (-1600). That’s what happens when the same people win almost all of the lead up awards.
Best Picture and Best Director, however, are far more interesting. Most places have 1917 as the Best Picture favorite with around (-250 or so odds) with Parasite (+300) and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (+500) trailing closely behind. Most oddsmakers are showing a bit more confidence in 1917’s Sam Mendes (-500 or so) for Best Director, but those odds are varying quite a bit between different sites.
Long story short, if you’re in an Oscar pool, you should hammer Parasite for Best International Feature Film. It is considered and should be considered a bigger favorite than any other movie or person in any category, and while I’d still recommend picking Joaquin Phoenix, if you need one sure bet, it should be Bong Joon-Ho’s masterpiece.