Rami Malek opened at 10/1 in the betting and went into 4’s following the release of Bohemian Rhapsody in UK cinemas in October. Even-money a week ago, Malek is now top-priced 4/7 to win the Oscar for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2019 Academy Awards later this month.
Malek plays Queen front-man Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and his status as favourite is fully justified given he was awarded the Best Actor award at the Golden Globes. The actor winning the Best Actor Globe has a remarkable record at the Oscars, winning the corresponding award there around 90 percent of the time. During the last ten years, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges have all picked up both awards. So how can Rami Malek be opposed on that form line?
Only on the basis of his price.
In a volatile market, Bradley Cooper has drifted out from 8/13 to 16/1 for his role in A Star is Born since mid-November. Meanwhile Christian Bale, favourite for a short time over Christmas, is now 7/2 in places for his role as Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice.
Remarkably Vice is the biggest outsider for the Best Film category at 200/1+ on the exchange. Bohemian Rhapsody is also an outsider but can be backed for a quarter of the Vice price. These are very contrasting films and it cannot be denied many more American’s would be familiar with Dick Cheney than Freddie Mercury given Queen never reached the same giddy heights in America as they did domestically. Therefore the Academy Award voters would naturally be more impressed with Bale’s role-play than Rami Maleks.
Personally I think Malek deserves to win this award and is the rightful favourite, but Christian Bale is over-priced and has to be supported on value grounds. The head should not rule the heart and all that