If our official racetrack odds are to be believed, then “Marguerite” would appear to be very much out front to win this year’s Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. These odds are derived from the forecasts that are made by our Expert film journalists, Gold Derby Editors, Top 24 Users (our top Oscar predictors from last year) and the thousands of Gold Derby readers who participate in our predictions center.
But is “Marguerite” really the one to beat at Sunday’s ceremony? Could one of the other nominees be in a position to pull off an upset? Let’s examine all five of this year’s nominees, in order by their current Gold Derby odds.
“Marguerite” (odds of winning: 17/5)
Marguerite is an old woman who receives in home visits from a nurse, Rachel, who helps to provide her with care. Because Marguerite doesn’t have anyone in her life, she very much enjoys when Rachel makes her visits. When Marguerite learns that Rachel is in a relationship with another woman, she finds herself revisiting her past and reflecting on the lost opportunities of the time.
This is the first Oscar nomination for both Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset.
Pros: Without question, this short is the least depressing of the bunch and, considering the tone of the other four nominees, that will make this one easily stand out. It’s also genuinely sweet and emotional along with being the least objectionable.
Cons: The characters in the film don’t have huge or substantive arcs and the simplicity of the film’s story and how it’s told could leave many voters wishing there was more to it.
Votes: 15 Experts, 5 Editors, 14 Top 24 Users and 66% of all users.
“Skin” (odds of winning: 19/5)
A young boy, Troy, is being raised by his parents, who are white supremacists. While Troy is waiting for his parents at a supermarket checkout, a black man smiles at him which infuriates Troy’s father who then savagely assaults the man in the parking lot. This leads to a plot for revenge that will drastically affect the entire family.
Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman have both received their first Oscar nomination for this short.
Pros: The short tells the most complete story. In addition to that, it also feels very relevant in light of the resurgence of the white power movement over the past several years.
Cons: The ending is very divisive, bizarre and could leave a bad taste in the mouth of voters after they view it.
Votes: 4 Experts, 2 Editors, 6 Top 24 Users and 21% of all users.
“Detainment” (odds of winning: 4/1)
Two boys are interrogated by the police regarding the gruesome murder of a toddler. The short is based on the infamous murder of James Bulger in the early 1990’s and much of the dialogue is taken from the police recordings of the two young suspects who became the youngest people ever convicted of murder.
This marks the first Oscar nominations for Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon.
Pros: The performances from the actors playing the two young murderers are very good and extremely compelling.
Cons: The subject matter is extremely hard to process. In addition to that, the film has also been getting negative publicity due to the vocal objections of Bulger’s family, who were not consulted about the film and believe has glorified James’s death.
Votes: 4 Experts, 1 Editor, 2 Top 24 Users and 7% of all users.
“Fauve” (odds of winning: 9/2)
Two young boys are running around in outside playing various games where they try to one-up each other. They make their way to a large sulfur mine and when the unexpected strikes, one of the boys must confront the horrors of nature.
This is Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon’s first Oscar nomination.
Pros: Beautifully filmed, the short has received a lot of acclaim on the festival circuit and claimed the Special Jury Prize for short films at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Cons: It takes a very depressing left turn towards the end and the ending is very abrupt.
Votes: 3 Experts, 2 Top 24 Users and 3% of all users.
“Mother” (odds of winning: 9/2)
A woman in Spain gets a call from her six-year-old son, who is in France vacationing with his father. The son explains that his father has vanished and that he’s on a beach but doesn’t know where. The mother tries to get her son to identify where she is before his cell phone battery runs out.
This is the first Oscar nominations for both Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado.
Pros: The suspense is played up very well throughout most of the movie and will most likely have voters on the edge of their seats.
Cons: The ending will probably not sit well with many voters who may feel cheated because of it.
Votes: 2% of all users.
PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until February 24
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.
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