The racetrack odds of Dev Patel (“Lion”) to win an Oscar on Feb. 26 have jumped dramatically since he won Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTA Awards in London on Sunday. Previously, Patel was ranked in fourth place with 50/1 odds, according to predictions of 25 Oscar experts polled by Gold Derby. Now he’s tied with Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”) for second place with 16/1 odds behind category frontrunner Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) at 2/9 odds.
Over the past few months Ali had the early lead in this category after victories at the SAG Awards, Critics’ Choice, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and L.A. Film Critics Association. But both Ali and Patel lost at the Golden Globes to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”), then Patel pulled off a last-minute surge at BAFTA.
Can Patel win the Academy Award next? Last year BAFTA champ Mark Rylance pulled off a shocking upset over frontrunner Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) at the Oscars. However, Rylance also had snagged kudos from film critics’ groups (National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle) that have not honored Pavel this year.
“BAFTA can often be a strong Oscar indicator since the two voting groups share hundreds of the same members,” notes Gold Derby editor Tom O’Neil. “Patel has other strong plusses as an Oscar candidate now. Veteran Oscar-grabber Harvey Weinstein is steering his campaign and Patel holds an Oscar I.O.U. after his break-out film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ won Best Picture of 2008, but he wasn’t even nominated.
“Now Patel stars as the title character in ‘Lion’ in which he gives a powerful performance as a young Indian man who goes in search of the family he lost during childhood,” O’Neil adds. “It’s clear that Oscar prognosticators have so far underestimated his chance to win. He’s now a serious threat.”
Currently, 22 out of 25 experts at Gold Derby pick Mahershala Ali: Brian Truitt (USA Today), Tim Gray (Variety), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Michael Musto (Out), Eric Deggans (NPR), Nicole Sperling and Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Erik Davis (Fandango), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Ed Douglas (Weekend Warrior) and Gold Derby’s Jack Mathews, Thelma Adams, Paul Sheehan and Tom O’Neil.
Only one pundit picks Dev Patel: Sasha Stone (Awards Daily). Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”) is the choice of Keith Simanton (IMDb). Kevin Polowy (Yahoo) backs Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”
Current racetrack odds for Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) –
Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”) – 16/1
Dev Patel (“Lion”) – 16/1
Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”) – 18/1
Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) – 66/1