Slow and steady could win the race for “The Imitation Game,” which has been climbing in our experts’ predictions for Best Picture. As of this writing, it ranks fifth with 9/1 odds. That’s up from one week ago (September 9), when it was seventh with 25/1 odds, and up even more from two weeks ago (September 2), when it was in 10th place with 33/1 odds. Will it keep going until it takes Best Picture in February?
The surge was inspired by the strong reviews it has received on the festival circuit, including Telluride and Toronto. Then, over the weekend, it won the top prize at the Toronto fest, the People’s Choice Award, which in recent years has gone to Best Picture Oscar champs “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), “The King’s Speech” (2010), and “12 Years a Slave” (2013), in addition to Best Picture nominees “Precious” (2009) and “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012).
Not all Toronto champs go on to be Oscar contenders; 2006’s “Bella” and 2011’s “Where Do We Go Now,” for instance, weren’t on the academy’s radar, but it’s especially good news for a film like “Imitation Game,” which already ticks a number of typical Oscar boxes. It boasts an A-list cast (led by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley), tells a true story with great historical import (breaking the Enigma Code during World War II), and has modern political resonance (war hero Alan Turing was later persecuted for his homosexuality).
Follow the purple line in the graph below to track the film’s dramatic climb in our experts’ Best Picture odds (click the graph to see more):
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