Thursday, January 15, 2015

Now that the nominations are in, here are the Oscar odds

Courtesy of Bovada, here are the Oscar odds laid down by sports publicist Jimmy Shaprio.

Best Picture

Boyhood 1/14
The Grand Budapest Hotel 12/1
Birdman 14/1
Selma 18/1
The Imitation Game 20/1
Theory of Everything 25/1
Whiplash 50/1
American Sniper 50/1

Best Director 

Richard Linklater - Boyhood 1/14
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman 13/2
Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher 25/1
Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game 25/1
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel 25/1

Best Actor 

Michael Keaton - Birdman 4/5
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything 1/1
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game 12/1
Steve Carrell - Foxcatcher 25/1
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper 33/1

Best Actress 

Julianne Moore - Still Alice 1/20
Reese Witherspoon - Wild 10/1
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl 20/1
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything 20/1
Marion Cotillard - Two Days One Night 33/1

Best Supporting Actor

JK Simmons - Whiplash 1/18
Edward Norton - Birdman 9/1
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher 12/1
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood 20/1
Robert Duvall - The Judge 33/1

Best Supporting Actress 

Patricia Arquette - Boyhood 1/25
Emma Stone - Birdman 12/1
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game 20/1
Laura Dern - Wild 20/1
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods 25/1

Call me a sentimentalist, but I'm putting my money down on Robert Duvall (pictured above) for an upset. Of course, when I was in Las Vegas last August, I wagered $100 for my beloved New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl this year, so you might want to think twice before heeding my handicapping.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Boyhood sweeps Houston Film Critics Society Awards

The Houston Film Critics Society (of which I am a member) announced its annual awards for cinematic achievement Saturday at H-Town's Sundance Cinemas. And, not entirely unexpectedly, home-town boy Richard Linklater's Boyhood picked up a passel of prizes -- including the Texas Independent Film Award for outstanding indie shot in the Lone Star State. (Other nominees in that category: Above All Else, Hellion, Joe, No No: A Dockumentary and Stop the Pounding Heart.)

Other winners:

PICTURE - Boyhood

DIRECTOR - Richard Linklater, Boyhood
ACTOR - Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
ACTRESS - Julianne Moore, Still Alive
SUPPORTING ACTOR - JK Simmons, Whiplash
SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
SCREENPLAY - Richard Linklater, Boyhood
ANIMATED FILM - The Lego Movie
DOCUMENTARY - Citizenfour
FOREIGN FILM - Force Majeure
SONG - "Everything is Awesome," The Lego Movie
SCORE - Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
POSTER - Annie Atkins, The Grand Budapest Hotel
WORST FILM - The Identical

(I know HFCS president Joshua Starnes has kittens whenever a member publicly questions any of our awards -- but, really, I saw The Identical, and it wasn't that bad. Trouble is, I don't think many of my fellow HFCSers saw Premature, Best Night Ever or Jinn.)

The Houston Film Commission was given a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema. And it was my pleasure and privilege to introduce a Lifetime Achievement award for Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter Larry McMurtry.

Unfortunately, due to technical problems, the exceptionally inventive montage of 2014 movies prepared for the event by HFCS member Travis Leamons... well, couldn't actually be played at the event. But you, dear reader, can feast your eyes upon it here.