There’s still eleven months to go before the 2020 Oscars ceremony, but betting on the Best Picture winner is already well underway, and there are a number of lively outsiders in this market, including the latest version of Little Women, starring Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan.
Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel has been reproduced on stage many times and has had no fewer than seven silver screen adaptations. The first two adaptations, in 1917 and 1918, were silent movies, while the seventh was released as recently as last year, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the novel’s publication. But the latest version, directed by Greta Gerwig, who earned two Oscars nominations for her 2017 movie Lady Bird, promises to be the most high-profile adaptation yet.
In addition to bankable box office stars Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan, it also features Laura Dern, Florence Pugh and three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, who has a starring role in another Best Picture contender, The Laundromat. Bookmaker Paddy Power has given Little Women a 16/1 quote in the Best Picture market, making it an outsider, along with Toy Story 4 (14/1) and Cats (11/1) although given the perennial popularity of the story, the high calibre of the cast, and the fact that Gerwig is a critically acclaimed rising star of the movie world, it might have a better chance than the odds suggest of scooping the big prize at next year’s ceremony.
The movie is set to be released in December, by which time punters will have a clearer idea of how it shapes up against a crowded field of potential winners. At the moment, the favourite in this market remains Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman (3/1) which sees Robert de Niro and Al Pacino together on screen for the fourth time in their careers, while the second favourite, and a more likely Oscar source for Meryl Streep, is The Laundromat (4/1) in which she stars as a journalist investigating the Panama Papers scandal.