Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions

The 83rd Academy Awards will take place tonight at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, hosted by Best Actor nominee James Franco and former Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway. As always, here are my predictions.

Winners in Bold Italics

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

* Javier Bardem – Biutiful as Uxbal
* Jeff Bridges – True Grit as Rooster Cogburn
* Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network as Mark Zuckerberg
* Colin Firth – The King's Speech as King George VI
* James Franco – 127 Hours as Aron Ralston

Colin Firth has won every major award leading up to tonight and been receiving Oscar Buzz since well before the film's release.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

* Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right as Nic
* Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole as Becca Corbett
* Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone as Ree Dolly
* Natalie Portman – Black Swan as Nina Sayers
* Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine as Cindy

Natalie Portman endured months of preparation to encapsulate the psychotic/sexual role as the White and the Black Swan.

Best Supporting Actor:

* Christian Bale – The Fighter as Dicky Eklund
* John Hawkes – Winter's Bone as Teardrop
* Jeremy Renner – The Town as James "Jem" Coughlin
* Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right as Paul
* Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech as Lionel Logue

I've heard rumors about a clean sweep for The King's Speech tonight, pointing to a win by Geoffrey Rush. But I will lose a lot of respect for the Academy if Christian Bale doesn't win this. After seeing The Fighter, I left the theater convinced he was the best actor on the planet.

Best Supporting Actress:

* Amy Adams – The Fighter as Charlene Fleming
* Helena Bonham Carter – The King's Speech as Queen Elizabeth
* Melissa Leo – The Fighter as Alice Ward
* Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit as Mattie Ross
* Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom as Janine "Smurf" Cody

Not the strongest category this year.

Best Original Screenplay:

* Another Year – Mike Leigh
* The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson
* Inception – Christopher Nolan
* The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
* The King's Speech – David Seidler

I am predicting based upon who I think will win, not necessarily who should win. Christopher Nolan should win. He won't.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

* 127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
* The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
* Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich
* True Grit – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
* Winter's Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

Lock-- Best screenplay of the decade.

Best Original Score:

* 127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
* How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
* Inception – Hans Zimmer
* The King's Speech – Alexandre Desplat
* The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

I just included this category to give a shout out to Trent Reznor.

Best Animated Feature:

* How to Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
* The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet
* Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich


Best Director:

* Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
* Ethan Coen and Joel Coen – True Grit
* David Fincher – The Social Network
* Tom Hooper – The King's Speech
* David O. Russell – The Fighter

Fincher could follow Ang Lee from 2005 with a Best Director win, only to lose out on Best Picture. The big question mark from this category is the absence of Christopher Nolan, who I think is the best filmmaker in Hollywood. Just another slap in the face to a guy the Academy sees as a comic book director.

Best Picture:

* 127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Christian Colson
* Black Swan – Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, and Brian Oliver
* The Fighter – David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and Mark Wahlberg
* Inception – Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas
* The Kids Are All Right – Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, and Celine Rattray
* The King's Speech – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin
* The Social Network – Dana Brunetti, Ce├ín Chaffin, Michael De Luca, and
Scott Rudin
* Toy Story 3 – Darla K. Anderson
* True Grit – Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, and Scott Rudin
* Winter's Bone – Alix Madigan and Anne Rosellini

The King's Speech will win. The Social Network was the best picture. Rarely do you see a well-written, well-directed, well-acted, well-scored movie that transcends the topic material. Not only was it about the creation of the world's most popular social networking site but also the relationships it created and destroyed. The film is at times depressing, funny, inspirational but above all highly entertaining. And I can guarantee many who saw it drove home that night thinking about how to become the next Mark Zuckerberg and create the next big thing.

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