Less than two months after winning an Oscar for “The Theory of Everything,” Eddie Redmayne is expected to take one more turn in the winner’s circle. Our predictors give him best odds to win Best On-Screen Transformation at the MTV Movie Awards for embodying physicist Stephen Hawking, whose body became paralyzed due to ALS.
On-Screen Transformation is a relatively new category at the MTV Movie Awards. It was presented only twice before, and the two winners were vastly different. The first prize went to Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in the first “Hunger Games” in 2012. The award was handed out again in 2014, when Jared Leto prevailed as a transgender AIDS patient in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Leto’s victory might be good news for Redmayne, proving MTV fans are open to awarding lower-grossing prestige fare, even against billion-dollar blockbusters (Leto beat Banks in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as well as Orlando Bloom in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug“). Then again, Leto also has a passionate fan base as the lead singer of the group 30 Seconds to Mars, who have won three times at MTV’s other fan-voted kudos, the VMAs. That added popularity might have helped seal the deal for the Oscar-winner.
Redmayne doesn’t have a rock-star day job to fall back on, unless you count his turn in the musical “Les Miserables,” which earned him an MTV bid for Best Breakthrough Performance in 2013. But he’s still the heavy favorite according to our predictions.
“Guardians” was 2014’s third highest grossing film at the domestic box office, and while Redmayne had to portray the debilitating physical effects of Hawking’s disease, Saldana’s had the most visible transformation. She donned extensive, Oscar-nominated makeup to play green-skinned alien Gamora, and in the previous two contests, heavy makeup won out against uncanny portrayals. In 2012, Banks defeated Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn.” And in 2014, Leto beat his “Dallas” co-star Matthew McConaughey, who shed drastic weight as AIDS activist Ron Woodroof.
13 of our Top 24 Users (the best predictors at last year’s awards) agree with my fellow Editors that Redmayne will prevail, but another six agree with me about Saldana: JOSHUA, Espinosa89, Vlad Hepburn, Junk, JDMintz, and babypook.
JDMintz was our savviest user last year, correctly forecasting 65% of the winners (I had a lowly 36% by comparison). In his second-place slot is Elizabeth Banks, nominated for the third time as Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.” He ranks Redmayne third.
BerryBest is going out on a limb for Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher“). Like Redmayne, he transformed himself to play a real person, sinister billionaire John du Pont. And like Saldana, he did so with the help of Oscar-nominated makeup artists. But unlike either of them, Carell has won an MTV Movie Award before: Best Comedic Performance for “The 40 Year Old Virgin” in 2006.
Our last top user, ogrostov, thinks Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood“) will take this prize. He transformed with no help at all, but it may be the most impressive feat in the category. He aged on-screen from age six to age 18. But did enough MTV fans see Richard Linklater‘s coming-of-age opus?
When the predictions of our Editors, Top 24 Users, and All Users are combined, Redmayne is out front (8/15 odds), while Saldana is second (9/2), Banks is third (12/1), Coltrane is fourth (25/1) and Carell trails in fifth (33/1).
Overall, last year’s Top 24 team didn’t do any better than Editors or Users – we all scored 35.71% correct, down from the previous year when we all forecast 50% of winners, which was down from the year before that, when the Top 24 and All Users scored 66.67% correct and Editors had 58.33%.
That means all of Gold Derby’s predictors are hoping to make a comeback, and you can help. If you think you know who will win this year’s MTV Movie Award races, click here to make your predictions. Your picks will be pooled together to generate our official racetrack odds, and if you have this year’s best predictions, you’ll win a $100 Amazon gift card (if you qualify according to our contest rules).
And don’t forget to use your big bets. Longshots pay out bigger if they upset, so if you place your two 200-point bets and one 500-point bet on a 100/1 underdog and they win, you score even higher. We use those scores to break ties if multiple users have the highest predictions percentage, so don’t take them for granted.
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