As 21 of our 29 Oscars experts predicted, Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor on Sunday night. His portrayal of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” had already brought him a SAG, BAFTA and Golden Globe in recent weeks.
This makes seven of the past 10 years that the Best Actor race has gone to someone playing a real life person: Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote,” 2005), Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” 2006), Sean Penn (“Milk,” 2008), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech,” 2010), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln,” 2012), and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club,” 2013) and, now, Redmayne.
Redmayne was a first-time nominee, as were three of his rivals — Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher“), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game“), and Michael Keaton (“Birdman“). Bradley Cooper had two nominations this year for producing and acting in “American Sniper,” bringing his career total to four.
The British heartthrob (and one-time classmate of Prince William at Eton) was the 2/5 favorite with 21 Experts backing him: Thelma Adams (ZEALnyc), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter, Thom Geier, Pete Hammond (Deadline), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Claudia Puig (USA Today), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times), and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Keaton was in second place after prevailing at the Golden Globes (comedy/musical) and at Critics’ Choice. He had 7/2 odds and the support of seven Experts: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out.com), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), and Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood).
Cooper was in the third spot with 25/1 odds and was the pick of one Expert: Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post).
Cumberbatch was in fourth place at 50/1, followed by Carell at 100/1.