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Viola Davis overtakes Streep in running for Best Actress Oscar

With the 84th Academy Awards due to take place at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday, anticipation is rife over who will take home the top honours.

Competition is perhaps most fierce in the Best Actress category. When nominations were announced last month, Meryl Streep was tipped by bookmakers to lift the Oscar for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the biopic film, The Iron Lady.

Streep has however now slipped to second favourite (11/8, Ladbrokes), with The Help actress Viola Davis now the frontrunner to land the award. Davis is now priced 8/13 (various) compared with the 7/2 she was offered at on 24 January.

Elsewhere at the Oscars, French silent film The Artist is expected to pick up the three other leading awards. It is the overwhelming favourite to win Best Picture, with a best price of 1/10 (Stan James, Bwin), while its nearest competition, The Descendants, is generally offered at 10/1. The Artist is also likely to see Michel Hazanavicius scoop the award for Best Director. The 44-year-old Frenchman is 1/10 to triumph, while former winner Martin Scorcese is second in the running at 6/1 (various) for his direction of the family mystery film, Hugo.

Jean Dujardin is also tipped to land the Best Actor award, in what could be a relative clean sweep of the awards for The Artist. He is best priced at 8/11 (various) but faces stiff competition from George Clooney, who is offered at 5/4 (BetVictor, Paddy Power) for his performance in The Descendants.

Jack Watkins
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