Final countdown to Oscars ceremony

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Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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The final countdown to the Oscars is under way and the winners and losers will soon be revealed.

The statuettes will be handed out in the early hours of tomorrow morning – UK time – in a ceremony at The Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, hosted by How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris.

Eddie Redmayne’s awards season success will hit even greater heights if he carries off the best actor gong for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in the hit film The Theory Of Everything.

The actor, whose mantelpiece is already laden down with a Bafta, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild award, is favourite to win the Oscar.

He is up against another Brit – and another portrayal of a pioneering scientist – in the shape of Ben edict Cumberbatch, who was nominated for his performance as codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

Also in the running are Steve Carell, nominated for Foxcatcher, American Sniper’s Bradley Cooper and Birdman’s Michael Keaton.

Redmayne’s co-star in The Theory Of Everything, Felicity Jones, and Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike are both nominated for the best actress gong.

Jones, who got her big break in Radio 4’s rural soap The Archers, played Professor Hawking’s first wife Jane whose memoir of life with him inspired the film.

They face competition from Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and Marion Cotillard.

Keira Knightley, who stars alongside Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, is nominated for the best supporting actress award alongside Oscars veteran Meryl Streep – who is shortlisted for a 19th time.

The other nominees are Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Emma Stone.

The nominees for best supporting actor are Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo and JK Simmons.

Both The Theory Of Everything and The Imitation Game are in contention to be named best film along with American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma and Whiplash.

Among those who were tipped for a nomination but missed out were actors Ralph Fiennes and David Oyelowo, both critically acclaimed for their work in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma respectively, and f ormer Friends star Jennifer Aniston also missed out despite impressing critics with her performance in Cake.

Other notable nominations include two for French composer Alexandre Desplat, who is recognised for his original score for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game.

Another Brit, cinematographer Dick Pope, is nominated for his work on Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner and inadvertently became an online sensation when Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs pronounced his name “Dick Poop”.

Bookmaker Coral said Redmayne is odds on favourite for the best actor award at 3-10, while Julianne Moore is the overwhelming favourite for the best actress gong at 1-100.

Meanwhile, British hopefuls Pike and Jones are 25-1 and 50-1, respectively, to cause an upset.

Birdman remains favourite at 4-6 to land best picture, while Boyhood is second at 5-4 and the odds on American Sniper have fallen from 33-1 into 16-1.

Coral spokesman John Hill said: “Our odds suggest British actor Eddie Redmayne is set to follow up his Baftas success in the best actor category, Birdman is favourite to win the best picture, while Julianne Moore is the shortest price in any of the awards to come away with the best actress gong.”

Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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