awards season

Place Your Bets on What Will Happen in This Awards Season’s Acceptance Speeches

Photo: Maya Robinson and Photos by Getty

The true drama of Oscar season doesn’t end when the winners’ names are read from the little envelope. No, seasoned awards junkies know that real action begins once the lucky honorees take the podium — after all, the races are just a matter of one winner and four losers; acceptance speeches are complex, three-dimensional webs of industry politics, interpersonal battles, and brain farts. Only a lunatic would try to bet on them, and we think at least some of our readers might be lunatics. Below, we’ve got the odds for anything and everything that could happen in this year’s acceptance speeches. Use them at this weekend’s Golden Globes, or save them for later in the season, when the months of glitz and glamour have you too amped-up to get off with something as mundane as an Oscar pool.

The Winner’s Spouse Accidentally Left Out of the Acceptance Speech
Sophie Hunter, fiancée of Benedict Cumberbatch: 100-1. (They just got engaged!*)
Robie Uniacke, partner of Rosamund Pike: 50-1. (They just had a kid.)
Nancy Carell, wife of Steve Carell: 18-1. (She’s in all his movies.)
Jim Toth, husband of Reese Witherspoon: 5-1. (She’s been talking about how mean she was to him during the Wild shoot, which could go either way.)
Ryan Hawke, wife of Ethan Hawke: 4-1. (Lingering awkwardness if Uma’s in the room.)
Brad Pitt, husband of Angelina Jolie: 3-1. (“He’s been thanked enough.”)
Bart Freundlich, husband of Julianne Moore: 3-2. (We’ve got a feeling.)

The Winner Who Will Apologize After Neglecting to Mention a Key Figure or Demographic
Reese Witherspoon … Cheryl Strayed: 150-1. (There’s no way, right?)
Benedict Cumberbatch … the victims of homophobia: 25-1. (He seems very well-trained.)
Angelina Jolie … Louis Zamperini: 10-1. (He’s dead, so she might not think it’s necessary.)
Julianne Moore … people living with Alzheimer’s: 6-1. (She may get distracted by daydreams about the Oscar.)
Bennett Miller … Mark Schultz: even odds. (Self-explanatory.)

The Winner Whose Acceptance Speech Is Most Likely to Be Intercut With a Shot of Their Ex
Michael Keaton: 10-1. (Did you know he dated Courteney Cox?)
Edward Norton: 6-1. (He’s got a lot of random ones, so this might happen accidentally.)
Patricia Arquette: 5-1. (Nicolas Cage gives great cutaway.)
Jake Gyllenhaal: 3:2. (With Reese and Taylor, he’s the frontrunner for a twofer.)
Jennifer Aniston: 4:3. (This is TV-producer catnip.)

The Losing Nominee Who Does the Worst Job Hiding Their Disappointment
Robert Duvall: 10-1. (A win is the only thing that would make The Judge worth it.)
Amy Adams: 8-1. (“This delightful smile is my gift and my curse.”)
Michael Keaton: 7-1. (Have you seen Birdman?)
J.K. Simmons: 5-1. (He’d be staying in character.)
Alejandro González Iñárritu: 3-1. (Have you seen Birdman??)

The Losing Nominee Who Does the Best Job Hiding Their Disappointment
Emma Stone: 10-1. (Just happy to be there!)
Mark Ruffalo: 5-1. (That sheepish grin is his go-to move at this point.)
Meryl Streep: 4-1. (“I’ve got plenty already.”)
Benedict Cumberbatch: 2:1. (Like a happy otter.) 
Eddie Redmayne: 3:2. (Even odds he’ll make this face.)
Steve Carell: 4:3. (The Emmys gave him lots of practice.)

The Losing Nominee Most Likely to Have Their Name Mispronounced by the Winner
James Marsh: 100,000-1. (This is the easiest name in the world to say.)
Jake Gyllenhaal: 12-1. (Seems easy, but ripe for an “Adele Dazeem”–style mix-up by a nervous winner.)
Morten Tyldum: 7-1. (So many weird vowels!)
Alejandro González Iñárritu: 5-1. (The winner might go first-name-only here.)
Richard Linklater: 4-1. (It’s pronounced like “See you later.”)
David Oyelowo: 3-2. (Despite Brad Pitt’s best efforts.)

The Winner Whose Name Everyone Is Too Busy Laughing at to Listen to Their Speech
Johann Johannsson: 9-1. (Self-evident.)
Dick Pope: 2-1. (Even more self-evident.)

The Winner Whose Acceptance Speech Inspires a Microcontroversy in the Right-Wing Blogosphere
Meryl Streep: 15-1. (If she says ageism in Hollywood exists.)
Julianne Moore: 7-1. (She’s done it before.)
Ava DuVernay: even Odds. (She’s basically there already.)

The Winner Whose Acceptance Speech Inspires a Microcontroversy in the Left-Wing Blogosphere
Meryl Streep: 15-1. (If she says ageism in Hollywood doesn’t exist.)
Rosamund Pike: 10-1. (If she has the wrong opinion on Cool Girls.)
Clint Eastwood: even Odds. (He’s basically there already.)

* This article originally said that Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter were married. They are engaged.

Vulture’s Acceptance-Speech Fantasy Odds