- La La Land is a musical about the romance between a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. The film has already enjoyed plenty of success after winning a record seven Golden Globes and features an award-winning cast in the form of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. La La Land is the bookies favourite and could take some beating.
- Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood and has already claimed 96 awards since its release. Featuring the likes of Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali, an Oscar win would certainly rank as the highest accolade for this 2016 American drama which could well be a decent outside bet for the top prize.
- Manchester by the Sea tells the story of an uncle who must take in his teenage nephew following a family tragedy. This Kenneth Lonergan production has proved a hit with the critics, particular for the performance of lead actor Casey Affleck, and could provide the stiffest competition for the seemingly unstoppable La La Land.
- Casey Affleck collected the ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’ award at the Golden Globes earlier this year for his role in Manchester by the Sea, and is now looking to add an Oscar to his list of achievements. The 41-year-old, who narrowly missed out on the title of ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in 2007, is hotly tipped to land his first Academy Award.
- Denzel Washington may be 62, but his acting career shows no signs of winding down. Nominated for his role as Troy Maxson in Fences, the American-born actor is going in search of his third statuette, but he could find the going tough against younger opposition.
- Ryan Gosling will be aiming to add to his success at the Golden Globes by claiming his first Oscar. This is the La La Land star’s second nomination following an appearance on the ‘Best Actor’ list in 2006, with the 36-year-old hoping he will be luckier second time around.
- Emma Stone is amongst the early favourites to take the Oscar following her stellar performance in La La Land. The US actress has enjoyed plenty of success during her decade in Hollywood and could land the top honour for her latest role.
- Natalie Portman wowed audiences in the 2011 smash hit, Black Swan, and will be hoping to take home a second Oscar for her latest role as Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie. The 35-year-old is being tipped by the bookies to cause an upset, but she might find herself disappointed this time out.
- Isabelle Huppert has been praised for her role in Elle, the film adaptation of the Philippe Dijan novel, Oh... , so much so that she has received the first Oscar nomination of her career. A strong contender, but the 63-year-old might fall short, especially given the strength of the other nominees.
It is no surprise to see La La Land leading the way with the bookies. The critically acclaimed film has taken cinemas by storm and looks set to succeed one way or another after receiving a record-equalling 14 nominations. However, don’t rule out the possibility of Manchester by the Sea stealing the limelight this Sunday.
All of the attention may be on La La Land, but Ryan Gosling is way behind Casey Affleck in the ‘Best Actor’ betting. The younger brother of two-time Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, Casey will certainly take some stopping, while fellow nominee Denzel Washington may be forced to wait for his hat-trick of Oscar wins.
Emma Stone is the odds-on favourites to land the ‘Best Actress’ award, but Natalie Portman is hot on her heels. However, given the popularity of La La Land, it is hard to see Stone missing out on the award.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Emma Stone to win Best Actress - 1/6
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.