It’s that time of year again! The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 27th, which means fanatics like me will be making their amateur predictions and betting on the dark horses (and probably losing a lot of money doing it). Well, this year, I’m sharing my picks with you: here are what I think will and should win for the major categories in 2011.
Adapted Screenplay: 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone
Will Win: The Social Network
Aaron Sorkin (The Truman Show, Charlie Wilson’s War, The West Wing) took the “true story” of Facebook, filled it with technical and legal mumbo-jumbo, and made it into the most engaging, fast-paced, and exciting film of the year. The script flowed with ease and fluidity, centered on a sympathetic college kid and filled with colorful side characters. After winning Best Adapted Screenplay at both the Golden Globes and the Writer’s Guild awards, it makes him nearly a lock.
Should Win: The Social Network
Original Screenplay: Another Year, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech
Will Win: Inception
Unlike adapted screenplay, this award is an open race. The King’s Speech is the frontrunner for most categories, so it definitely has a shot here (it also won the Golden Globe). The Kids Are All Right and Another Year are both small and loveable indies, which historically do well in this category (Little Miss Sunshine and Milk, for example). I think, however, that the Oscar will land in the hands of Christopher Nolan for the 10 years he spent writing Inception. It’s the most original and perhaps the most thought provoking film of the year, and Nolan deserves something for it.
Should Win: Inception
Best Actress: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
Will Win: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
I’ve always loved her (she was great in The Piano and Closer), and I’m glad she finally got another role worth having (after those dreadful Star Wars prequels). She’s won basically every major award (Golden Globes, SAG) and stars in the most acclaimed film of the category. Annette Bening, who many believe should have won for American Beauty AND Being Julia, could upset, but I think she’ll once again leave empty handed.
Should Win: Natalie Portman
Best Actor: Javier Bardem (Biutiful) Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours)
Will Win: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
A couple of weeks ago, it looked like newcomer Jesse Eisenberg would be a stiff competitor, but as The King’s Speech gained momentum, no one has come on stronger than Firth. He put up a strong showing for A Single Man, and this time he’ll secure the win.
Should Win: Colin Firth
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David Russell (The Fighter) Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) David Fincher (The Social Network), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)
Will Win: David Fincher, The Social Network
I’m picking the upset on this one. Tom Hooper won the DGA award (which about 80% of the time predicts the Best Director) and that makes him the instant frontrunner. In addition, The King’s Speech is definitely the frontrunner for Best Picture. The Social Network, however, has a respected director behind it (Fincher was nominated in 2009 for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and has won a majority of the editing awards, which is also a heavy predictor of Best Director. It’s not often that I bet against the DGA, but I think this will be the biggest surprise on Oscar night (there’s always one!)
Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network
Who would’ve thought a movie about facebook would be so good?
Best Picture: Black Swan, The Figher, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone
Will Win: The King’s Speech
This has become a two horse race. The Social Network was the early frontrunner, winning nearly all of the critic’s awards, including the Broadcast Film Critics and the Golden Globes (both choose the Best Picture winner 64% of the time). The King’s Speech, however, responded by sweeping the guild awards (Directors’, Producers’, and Screen Actors’). The academy is mostly made up of former directors, producers, and actors, so it makes sense that The King’s Speech will take home the top award. It also seemingly fits the “Best Picture Profile,” an intimate, personal, period piece that engages in national and political themes, à la American Beauty, Schindler’s List, and The English Patient, just to name a few.
Should Win: The Social Network
See above. The most entertaining film of the year.