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November 16, 2019, GMT+0000, 1:05 am
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Oscars Odds: Could Dee Rees’ Thriller Shake up the Best Picture Market?

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The Best Picture betting odds have a settled look right now with The Irishman (7/2) and Marriage Story (4/1) leading the way, closely followed by Joker (6/1) although Joaquin Phoenix’s comic villain origin story has been showing signs of weakness in the market recently. 

But with around three months to go before the nominations are released at the end of January, there is plenty of time for an outsider to enter contention in what looks like being an open contest. And one of the most interesting options is The Last Thing He Wanted.

Rewind back to the spring, and this title was rated among the top three in the Best Picture betting, alongside The Irishman and Stephen Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, which has also subsequently slipped out of contention, following indifferent reviews. 

But unlike its main rivals, we have yet to see The Last Thing He Wanted, and at the time of writing, no release date has been pencilled in. The nearest we have to a prediction for when movie audiences might be able to see this film is ‘the end of the year’ although we do know that, like The Laundromat, it will be premiered on streaming service Netflix. 

So far it seems to have been overlooked amid the flurry of releases over recent weeks, and is now available at 20/1, a price that might look huge when it is finally unveiled. 

And the Oscar potential for The Last Thing He Wanted is considerable. Directed by up and coming talent Dee Rees, who earned a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination in 2017, this political thriller is based on a prize-winning novel by Joan Didion. It stars Anne Hathaway as a journalist caring for her dying father at the height of the 1984 US Presidential elections, but who then becomes involved in an arms-dealing conspiracy and a romantic entanglement with a US government official. 

Hathaway won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress back in 2012, while fellow stars Ben Affleck and Willem Dafoe also have Academy Award credentials. Affleck has won Best Original Screenplay and produced Best Picture winner Argo while Defoe has four Oscars nominations. 

The Last Thing He Wanted may not have grabbed the headlines, but there is clear potential, and it would be no surprise to see that 20/1 price drop considerably before January. 

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