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Cardiff's take on The Oscars

Image: Adarsh Upadhyay

Image: Adarsh Upadhyay

We’re smack bang in the middle of awards season and the big one is just around the corner.

The Oscars are held on 2 March and critics are falling over themselves to predict the winners. We decided to find out what the people of Cardiff think.

We spoke to Chapter Arts Centre and betting shops across the city to find out who the good people of Cardifft hink should – and will – win the coveted golden statues next month?

What the cinemagoers say… According to Chapter, which has so far screened seven of the nine films up for best picture, the Steve Coogan-penned Philomena is the people’s champion.

On average, the comedy drama drew a whopping 127 people per showing, 23 more than the second most popular, 12 Years a Slave.

At the bottom of the pile, and unlikely to walk away with a prize according to Chapter’s cinemagoers, is Nebraska. The monochrome black comedy has failed to find favour with Chapter’s clientele with fewer than half the number of people (53) turning up to each screening.

Surprisingly, American Hustle’s stellar cast didn’t attract the Cardiff faithful with only 60 people arriving per showing.

Winner: Philomena

What the punters say… But according to William Hill’s media manager Rupert Adams, those Cardiffians who did see the David O-Russell heist enjoyed it so much they’ve put big money on it.

Cardiff punters have put the most cash on American Hustle to win best picture, despite the film trailing behind 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and the Dallas Buyers Club in betting shops across the UK.

Could it be put down to the Welsh factor? Haverfordwest-born Christian Bale is the only (semi-) Welshman among the main nominees and is up for Best Actor for his performance as con artist Irving Rosenfeld.

But apparently he’s not drawing any bets in the Welsh capital for his individual performance.

“There are not that many bets from Cardiff but I can see they like Leonardo Dicaprio, despite being an outsider.”

According to Rupert, Cate Blanchett, should be feeling pretty confident come March. The Australian, who walked away with the BAFTA last week, despite the controversy surrounding the film’s director, Woody Allen, and the abuse allegations that have resurfaced.

But Blanchett’s turn as Xanac-popping socialite hasn’t found favours among the Cardiff crowds.

Rupert said: “Cate Blanchett looks unbeatable but her odds are too short for Cardiff punters.”

Winner: American Hustle

What the bookies say… If you are looking to make a last-minute bet, what’s the smart choice?

According to Mark Pearson, Betfred’s Head of Media, it has to be 12 Years a Slave.

He said: “If I had a tenner I would absolutely put it all on 12 Years a Slave. It’s the clear favourite.”

For an outside bet, he is tipping American Hustle to scrape Best Screenplay, despite trailing in the bookies. “It’s a great film and I think it will be popular with the judges.”

Rupert Adams’ outside recommendations could win you more. He said: “A £1 bet on Julia Roberts at 40/1 and a tenner on Barhad Abdi at 20-1 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role”.

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

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