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Oscars: Vegas odds and Flixnerd picks

March 2, 2014. It's Oscar night!

Academy Awards 2014
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We'll cover the Vegas favorites along with my predictions from Flixnerd.com and some insights that may help you with your pools and picks.

Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Live Action

The link above will take you to Amazon.com and their very reasonable, feature length showcase for this year's Live Action Short Films.

On to the nominees, the current Vegas odds, and my picks and predictions. (Source for Odds: Slashfilm.com)

The Oscars – Best Picture

  • 12 Years a Slave 2/11
  • Gravity 4/1
  • American Hustle 15/1
  • The Dallas Buyers Club 20/1
  • The Wolf of Wall Street 35/1
  • Captain Phillips 150/1
  • Her 150/1
  • Nebraska 200/1
  • Philomena 200/1

'Gravity' is the sure thing here. When a highly reviewed (and very good) movie grosses over $500 million worldwide...lock it up.

Read our review of 'Gravity' here.

The Oscars – Best Director

  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) 1/20
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) 7/1
  • David O. Russell (American Hustle) 25/1
  • Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) 40/1
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska) 100/1

Cuaron is the easy money for Directing Achievement, but I'm going with David O. Russell and 'American Hustle.' The loosely-based historical drama made a political scandal one of this year's most resoundingly entertaining pictures. Check out the Flixnerd review here.

The Oscars – Best Actor

  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) 1/5
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) 5/1
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) 6/1
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska) 40/1
  • Christian Bale (American Hustle) 75/1

McConaughey dropped a metric ton in weight to portray an HIV-stricken rodeo star who finds his calling and his humanity in the face of certain death. Oscar checklist: severe weight change (check!), terminal illness (check!).

McConaughey might walk with Oscar gold, but Christian Bale turned in the best performance of the year. Going with my gut on this one. Bale for the win.

The Oscars – Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) 1/30
  • Amy Adams (American Hustle) 12/1
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity) 15/1
  • Judi Dench (Philomena) 35/1
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) 40/1

If Blanchett loses, it's due to Woody Allen's poorly-timed media scandal over child and sexual abuse. Oscar has shown a history of recognizing the work despite bad behavior. Roman Polanski proved that with 'The Pianinst' years ago.

Truly the toughest race to call. Adams was brilliant in 'American Hustle' but Bullock proved to be capable of carrying 'Gravity' to astronomical box office success. Dench and Streep are past Oscar faves, but look for "America's Sweetheart" Bullock to gush and blush on the podium this year.

Who should win? Amy Adams...but Bullock nabs the statue this year.

The Oscars – Best Supporting Actor

  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) 1/10
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) 9/1
  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) 10/1
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) 22/1
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) 45/1

Cooper, whose turn in 'American Hustle' showed that the guy can act (and dance) and that he really should be in every David O. Russell movie to continue to be taken seriously as an actor.

Leto, who returns to film after taking a break to focus on his band '30 Seconds to Mars' is in fine form as 'Rayon' in 'Dallas Buyers Club.' My only gripe is that Leto's screen time is limited and that his character is never fully realized.

But, the buzz is strong with Leto. Could be a surprise win for Cooper, but Leto's performance as the lost soul in 'Buyer's Club' is too solid to overlook. Look for Leto on the podium.

The Oscars – Best Supporting Actress

  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) 4/7
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) 5/4
  • June Squibb (Nebraska) 33/1
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) 40/1
  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) 40/1

Nyong'o has been the runaway favorite from the other acting and film awards handed out already. Lawrence was dynamic, despite some overacting, in 'Hustle' but you can't argue with Lupita Nyong'o as the choice here.

The Oscars – Best Original Screenplay

  • Her 5/7
  • American Hustle 6/5
  • Dallas Buyers Club 15/1
  • Blue Jasmine 20/1
  • Nebraska 20/1

Dear Oscar, please let Spike Jonez' brilliant 'Her' win something. Original, dialog-heavy, and emotionally rewarding...'Her' was one of the most surprising films in my viewings this year. Credit Joaquin Phoenix for his brilliant performance when 'Her' gets the nod for Original Screenplay.

The Oscars – Best Foreign Film

  • The Great Beauty (ITA) 1/4
  • The Hunt (DEN) 7/2
  • The Broken Circle Breakdown (BEL) 13/2
  • Omar (PLE) 33/1
  • The Missing Picture (CAM) 50/1

The Oscars – Best Adapted Screenplay

  • 12 Years a Slave 1/7
  • Philomena 7/1
  • Before Midnight 21/2
  • Captain Phillips 15/1
  • The Wolf of Wall Street 18/1

Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight' rounded out the intimate trilogy of films that chart the improbable romance between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as an American student and French artist who first met in 'Before Sunset.'

Linklater's films rely completely on the dialog between Hawke and Delpy, who both contributed to the screenplays and embody these roles with a realism and passion that stays with you after the credits have rolled.

Call it an award for the trilogy itself, but look for Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy to accept Oscars tonight.

The Oscars – Best Visual Effects

  • Gravity 1/50
  • Field (Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Lone Ranger) 8/1

Duh. Gravity.

The Oscars – Best Animated Feature Film

  • Frozen 1/30
  • Field (The Wind Rises, Ernest and Celestine, Despicable Me 2, The Croods) 7/1

'Frozen' for the easy win.

The Oscars – Best Original ‘Score’

  • Gravity – Steven Price 1/7
  • Field (Her, The Book Thief, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks) 13/4

'Her' with music from 'Arcade Fire' could sneak in here, but I'd look for 'Gravity' to continue it's streak of wins here.

The Oscars – Best Costume Design

  • The Great Gatsby 2/7
  • American Hustle 3/1
  • Field (12 Years a Slave, The Invisible Woman, The Grandmaster) 6/1

Baz Luhrmann's 'Gatsby' was emotionally empty, but visually stunning largely in part to the realism in recreating the era through costume and production design.

As much as I loved the work in 'American Hustle,' which deserves to win, 'Gatsby' will take home its only Oscar in this category tonight.

The Oscars – Best Original ‘Song’

  • “Let It Go” from Frozen 1/6
  • “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 6/1
  • “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom 6/1
  • “The Moon Song” from Her 33/1

"Let it Go" from 'Frozen'

The Oscars – Best Documentary Feature

  • The Act of Killing 1/2
  • 20 Feet from Stardom 3/2
  • The Square 10/1
  • Dirty Wars 30/1
  • Cutie and the Boxer 50/1

Picking '20 Feet from Stardom' although 'The Act of Killing' appears to be a lock. The Best Documentary features are all available on Netflix streaming.

The Oscars – Best Cinematography

  • Gravity 1/100
  • Inside Llewyn Davis 15/1
  • Nebraska 20/1
  • Prisoners 50/1
  • The Grandmaster 50/1

'Gravity' for the win.

The Oscars – Best Film Editing

  • Gravity 1/3
  • Captain Phillips 2/1
  • 12 Years a Slave 15/1
  • American Hustle 20/1
  • Dallas Buyers Club 50/1

'Gravity' for delivering a tautly-paced and nail biting film. Editing is often overlooked by audiences, but may very well be one the most important aspects of a films' finished product. Without the tension and suspense of 'Gravity', it's just a girl floating in space.

The Oscars – Best Animated Short Film

  • Get a Horse! 1/10
  • Mr. Hublot 8/1
  • Room on the Broom 20/1
  • Feral 20/1
  • Possessions 30/1

The Oscars – Best Live-Action Short Film

  • The Voorman Problem 4/7
  • Avant Que De Tout Perdre 2/1
  • Helium 6/1
  • Aquel No Era Yo 14/1
  • Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? 33/1

'The Voorman Problem' has almost single-handedly brought attention to the category this year. Martin Freeman (BBC TV's 'Watson' in "Sherlock" and 'Bilbo Baggins' in the Hobbit films) stars as a psychiatrist examining a patient who believes himself to be a god...and who will prove it by making Belgium disappear from the Earth.

'The Voorman Problem' wins.

The Oscars – Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  • Dallas Buyers Club 1/100
  • Jackass Presents Bad Grampa 15/1
  • The Lone Ranger 20/1

'Dallas Buyers Club' for some superb makeup which realistically changed it's cast of hunky sex symbols in real life into believably ill and gaunt characters.

The Oscars – Best Production Design

  • The Great Gatsby 4/7
  • Gravity 7/4
  • 12 Years a Slave 6/1
  • Her 25/1
  • American Hustle 40/1

Longshot Alert: 'American Hustle' sneaks past the odds-on favorites here for its incredibly detailed rendering of early 1980's style.

Enjoy the Academy Awards, Flixnerds.

Agree with our picks? Disagree strongly? Well, then drop us a comment and share your thoughts!

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