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One of the most wonderful things about gambling is that you can bet on anything. I once got 7 to 5 odds at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas on a guy eating two ham sandwiches in one minute (I turned my twenty into twenty-eight bucks, thank you very much). In an effort to spread the wealth, I offer you my guaranteed-winners for the 77th Annual Academy Awards tonight. Bet early. Bet often. And rake in the dough.
Jamie Foxx is the only lock of the night, nominated for his Best Actor for his performance as Ray Charles in “Ray.” The odds I’m getting are 1 to 5. You may as well skip this category since there’s no money to be made. The shame of this category is Don Cheadle gets screwed again. Any other year, he’d be taking home the hardware for his role as Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda.” Bummer.
The same goes for the Best Actress category. Hilary Swank is a 3 to 5 favorite to beat Annette Benning for the second time. I don’t know if the actors run smack on each other, but if they did, I’m sure Hilary would say she owned Ms. Beatty. There’s all this talk about Imelda Staunton being the dark horse in this category for her role in “Vera Drake,” but don’t believe it for a second.
Best Supporting Actor is where the money is to be made. Thomas Hayden Church is getting 9 to 5 odds for his role in “Sideways.” Morgan Freeman is getting 9 to 4 for his role in “Million Dollar Baby.” And Clive Owen is getting 3 to 1 for his go in “Closer.” T.H. Church doesn’t stand much of a chance because “ Monkeybone,” “Serial Killing Dummys 4,” and two go-rounds in “George of the Jungle” movies. Morgan Freeman seems like a safe bet because he’s been nominated three other times and never won. But my money is on Clive Owen. Ever since seeing “Croupier,” I have tried to model my life after Clive’s going so far as to speak only in a British accent. If you have a big-money bet, make this one it.
The minute after seeing “Ray,” I predicted that Sharon Warren would take home Oscar in a walk. She wasn’t even nominated, so I’m already oh for one. I find it difficult for anyone to beat Cate Blanchett, but seeing that she’s getting 11 to 4 odds, someone must disagree. Virginia Madsen is a 3 to 2 favorite to win, and could get the guilty-vote because Paul Giamatti was shut-out. I would easily give it to Natalie Portman for her role in “Closer,” but I doubt most Academy voters cast their vote because they saw her dancing around in her underwear. Bad break for Natalie.
The Best Director category is tricky. Clint Eastwood has the buzz, but Martin Scorsese has never won this award. Like the Grammy’s the Academy Awards rewards lifetime achievement when they shouldn’t. Scorsese has made about six other movies wherein he should have won Oscar, but didn’t. “The Aviator” isn’t his best work, but that might not matter. Still I’m going with Clint simply for the fact that Martin was Sykes in “Shark Tale.”
“Million Dollar Baby” will win Best Picture too. “The Aviator” has more nominations, but the last time Scorsese had a picture (“Taxi Driver”) up against a boxing movie (“Rocky”), he was KO’d too. “Million Dollar Baby” only pays 2 to 1, but it’s still something.
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