Oscars 2015: Plenty of value in the Birdman v Boyhood face-off

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Limos, red carpet, A-listers, designer frocks and enough tears to fill a reservoir. It can only be the annual Hollywood slap on the back from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science, or the Oscars to you and me, but where to place your bets in 2015?

As is so often the case, edition number 87 of the Oscars sees a titanic tussle in the battleground for the most prestigious statuette of Best Picture, between the two Bs.

Zany dark comedy Birdman is the current favourite at 4/7, up against the groundbreaking coming-of-age movie Boyhood at 6/4.

Having picked up the Golden Globe and Baftas for best film already, Richard Linklater’s acclaimed masterpiece Boyhood – voted top film of 2014 by Empire magazine and shot over 12 years – has to rate as a brilliant bet to oppose the story of tormented Hollywood actor Riggan Thomson in Birdman.

This theme is also revisited in the Best Director category. The man behind the camera in Birdman is Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the 4/7 market leader, shadowed by Linklater at 5/4, whose mantelpiece is already adorned with the aforementioned gongs in the class.

Where Birdman fights back in the value steaks is the Best Actor category.

Michael Keaton’s high-octane and punchy depiction of Thomson has earned him universal plaudits though he’s still behind British actor Eddie Redmayne in the betting at 11/4 and 1/4 respectively.

Redmayne has been recognised for his portrayal of world-renowned scientist and motor-neuron disease sufferer Stephen Hawking in the biographical Theory of Everything.

With Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor all harbouring 1/66 favourites, another path toward profit may well be found in the Wes Anderson-directed Grand Budapest Hotel.

The typically surreal Anderson release is dripping in style with a story to match, which has propelled the film to the front of the queue in Best Original Screenplay at 4/7.

However, punts on Best Cinematography at 7/2 or Best Original Score, at 13/8, could be more rewarding.

Finally, look out for recent Box Office smash Big Hero 6 from Walt Disney which is making a late charge in the Best Animated Feature Film category at 5/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.