Australia’s Tim Crosbie has a new designer suit and the limousine is booked to take him to the 87th Academy Awards, but the visual effects wizard has passed on other traditional Oscar red carpet tricks like Botox, fake tan and a manicure.
No, none of that, the 47-year-old laughed as he relaxed in his Los Angeles hotel suite.
Crosbie and his team at Adelaide-based effects house Rising Sun Pictures are nominated at Sunday’s (Monday AEDT) Oscars for their work on X-Men: Days of Future Past and while the crews from Interstellar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have won major lead-up awards, the Australian is quietly confident of an upset.
“I think we do, yeah,” Crosbie, when asked if he thinks his team has a good chance.
“The five movies nominated are all bloody good movies and what’s been done across them all is amazing.
“Interstellar won the BAFTA, Planet of the Apes won at the Visual Effects Society awards, but having said that it’s hard to tell.”
A party is planned at Rising Sun so the staff can watch the ceremony and Crosbie said the festivities might still be going when he gets back to Adelaide on Wednesday.
“They will have a few snags on the barbecue,” Crosbie said.
“If we win, that party is not going to stop.”
Australia’s other Oscar nominee is David Lee, a sound mixer on the Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken.
Lee is also considered an outsider by bookmakers who rate him the longshot behind the mixing teams from independent musical Whiplash, American Sniper, Interstellar and Birdman.
Australia might not have Nicole Kidman or Cate Blanchett competing in the acting categories or Peter Weir or Baz Luhrmann in the hunt for directing or best picture, but the ceremony will be interesting.
Hosted by song and dance man-comedian Neil Patrick Harris, Birdman and Boyhood have been duking it out through Hollywood awards season and it is not clear who Academy voters will declare winners for best picture or directing.
There is a theory Oscar voters will share the spoils, giving Birdman’s Alejandro Inarritu the directing gong and Boyhood, filmed intermittently over 12 years with the same actors, best picture.
If so, Boyhood director Richard Linklater, as a producer, will still get a gold statuette for best picture.
Best actor is where the shock could come.
English actor Eddie Redmayne, playing wheelchair bound theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and former Hollywood superhero Michael Keaton, playing a former Hollywood superhero in Birdman, are the leading man frontrunners.
But, lurking is American Sniper’s Bradley Cooper.
The studio behind American Sniper, Warner Bros, has pulled off a masterful campaign, rolling the movie out to just a few theatres in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas over Christmas to qualify it for the Oscars and then expanding the release across the US where it set theatre records in the American heartland, particularly cinemas near military bases.
Cooper’s ability to schmooze the awards circuit was curtailed as he was performing The Elephant Man on Broadway.
The strategy and Cooper’s schedule meant Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild, who announce their nominees before Christmas, didn’t nominate Cooper, but by the time Oscar voters had their turn in mid-January momentum had built and the movie, based on the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has gone on to make more than $US400 million worldwide.
Redmayne and Keaton are both first-time Oscar nominees, while Cooper has delivered a fine body of work with three best actor nominations the past three years (Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle).
The other three acting categories are done deals.
Best actress nominee Julianne Moore, playing a linguistics professor in Still Alice with the early onset of Alzheimer’s, supporting actor JK Simmons, an abusive jazz instructor in Whiplash and supporting actress Patricia Arquette, as a single mother in Boyhood, are unbackable favourites.
The trio’s odds are so short you would get back just one cent for every $1 bet.
Redmayne, at around $1.30, and Keaton, $3.50, have drifted a little while Cooper has gone from $100-plus to odds of around $10 with some bookies.
Birdman and the Grand Budapest Hotel have the most nominations, nine, while the Imitation Game has eight, American Sniper and Boyhood six and The Theory of Everything five.
New Zealand’s Anthony McCarten, who penned The Theory of Everything, is a longshot, but will pick up two Oscars if the film wins best picture and adapted screenplay.
The Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard from midday Monday AEDT.
MAJOR OSCAR CATEGORY ODDS
– Boyhood 5/4
– The Imitation Game 40/1
– American Sniper 40/1
– The Theory of Everything 50/1
– Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything) 1/4
– Michael Keaton (Birdman) 11/4
– Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) 16/1
– Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) 40/1
– Steve Carrel (Foxcatcher) 100/1
– Julianne Moore (Still Alice) 1/50
– Reese Witherspoon (Wild) 16/1
– Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) 25/1
– Marion Cotillard (Two Days One Night) 50/1
– Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) 40/1
– JK Simmons (Whiplash) 1/50
– Edward Norton (Birdman) 14/1
– Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) 20/1
– Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) 40/1
– Robert Duvall (The Judge) 50/1
– Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) 1/66
– Emma Stone (Birdman) 25/1
– Laura Dern (Wild) 33/1
– Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game) 33/1
– Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) 40/1
– Alejandro Inarritu (Birdman) 8/13
– Richard Linklater (Boyhood) 6/5
– Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel) 40/1
– Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) 40/1
– Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) 66/1
Bookmaker source: William Hill