Aussies unlikely to take home Oscars

HOLLYWOOD: If bookmakers from Las Vegas to London are right, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts and Jacki Weaver shouldn't waste time writing an Oscar acceptance speech.

The Aussie A-List trio has next to no chance of winning gold statuettes at today's 85th Academy Awards ceremony, according to the bookies.

But two lesser known Australian nominees could end up on the winner's podium.

Rick Findlater, a 45-year-old from near Byron Bay, is the favourite to win an Oscar in the make-up and hairstyling category for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

He was responsible for turning Sir Ian McKellen into Gandalf the wizard.

Findlater, and his Hobbit colleagues, America's Tami Lane and Brit Peter King, have thin odds of about 2/5 to win the Oscar, with the Les Miserables make-up and hairstyling team second favourites at 2/1.

"It's a fantastic year to be nominated," Findlater, whose resume of films includes Avatar, The Last Samurai and Amelia, said.

"Sometimes you go through the lists and see the films and say 'Yeah, not bad', but this year, in all of the categories, there are some amazing movies."

The other Aussie in the mix is animation supervisor Dave Clayton, a 34-year-old from Brisbane, nominated in the visual effects category for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

One of Clayton's top jobs was to update the beloved character Gollum, a high-pressure gig considering Gollum was heralded as a huge breakthrough in visual effects when he first appeared in the Lord of the Rings films about a decade ago.

Clayton and his Hobbit effects wizard colleagues - Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon and Christopher White - are second favourites with odds of 8/1, with Life of Pi's visual effects team the favourite at 1/20.

Bookmakers have all but given Daniel Day-Lewis the third best actor Oscar of his brilliant career, for playing Abraham Lincoln in the Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln.

Some British bookmakers have Day-Lewis at the ultra-thin odds of 1/80, whereas second pick Jackman (Les Miserables) is a long way off at 25/1 and third best Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) at 50/1.

Jennifer Lawrence is the 1/2 favourite for Silver Linings Playbook, with 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) at 9/4, then Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) on the third rung at 7/1.

Watts, for The Impossible, is facing the impossible at about 40/1.

Weaver's odds have blown out to about 100/1 for her supporting actress performance in Silver Linings Playbook, with Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) way ahead of the pack at 1/50.

The best picture favourite is Argo at 1/6, ahead of Lincoln at 5/1 and Silver Linings Playbook in the third slot at 40/1.

The Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, begin at noon today. 

AAP

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