Last year I made a prediction for every Oscar category. It was a lot of guesswork and sort of a waste of time trying to guess who would win Best Sound Mixing or Best Short Documentary when I know nothing about what qualifies a movie to win Best Sound Mixing and when I hadn’t seen any one of the short documentaries nominated. This doesn’t mean I won’t take a stab at either one of those this year, but we’ll see.
I don’t think it has ever been easier to predict best actor and actress in a leading role than this year. Watch, I get those completely wrong. Here are the predictions…
Writing (Original Screenplay): The King’s Speech – This is a great story and an amazing screenplay. Even the story of writing the screenplay is fascinating. Did you see the 60 Minutes piece last week? I still haven’t seen The Fighter or The Kids Are All Right, but both of those are also strong contenders.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Social Network – I hate to say it, but this movie will probably win. After first seeing it, I thought it should win because it was a good movie and fairly accurate from what I hear and adapted from what was probably a boring book. However, after seeing parts of the original True Grit and listening to the Coen Brothers on Fresh Air, I realized two things. One, the original True Grit really sucks. It is awfully bad. Embarrassing to a point. Two, the Coens stuck to the original language of Charles Portis’ novel, but still made a relevant movie at times both serious and hilarious. They made a Western in 2010 that was popular. That is award worthy.
Visual Effects: Inception – Whatever you thought about this movie, it’s visuals were hands down the best of the year. Nothing even compares to it. Harry Potter? Iron Man 2? Are you kidding me? Inception’s cinematography paired with the visual effects is a combination that cannot be matched.
Music (Original Song): Toy Story 3 – “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman – I haven’t heard all the nominated songs, but I know this one is great and I know that no matter what, Gwyneth Paltrow will probably sing the nominated song from Country Strong, but please don’t give that song the Oscar.
Music (Original Score): The Social Network – I almost skipped this category, but I found the music from the SN to be compelling throughout the entire movie. It really contributed to the feel of the movie. High-strung, tension-filled, the music brought more anxiety to the legal proceedings and more mystery to the goings-on in Zuckerberg’s head as he is hammering away on the keyboard.
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful – Honestly, I haven’t seen any of these, but the buzz for Biutiful and Javier Bardem’s performance is enough to make a slightly educated guess here.
Film Editing: The King’s Speech – I can’t remember a scene from the movie that I would want arranged in a different way. Of course, as viewers, we don’t know what was left out or cut from the movie, but The King’s Speech was so complete and strong it seems like they made all the right cuts and selections.
Documentary Feature: Inside Job – There are a lot of strong nominees here. Exit through the Gift Shop and Restrepo could also win. I haven’t seen the former yet, and I haven’t seen Restrepo, but I have read the book Sebastian Junger wrote about his time in the Korengal Valley while making Restrepo. That book is called War and it is the best book I’ve read about the Afghanistan front.
Directing: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan – I could easily be wrong here, but I think this is one of the categories Black Swan will actually win. Some years it seems like the Oscar for Directing is guaranteed to go to the director of the favorite in the feature film category, but maybe not this year.
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3 – How could this movie not win? It’s touching and fresh, even for the third revival.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo – The Fighter – She has won most of the awards already, might as well make it a sweep.
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman – Black Swan – This pick couldn’t be easier. I watched some of the Golden Globes when Portman won her acting award. Her speech was a little long, awkward (nothing new there) but it was that night I discovered Natalie Portman has an annoying laugh. Interesting…
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale – The Fighter – I think this is another easy prediction. Flawless is most often the description of Bale’s performance in this movie.
Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech – I think I’ll be offended if he doesn’t win. I won’t cry and I’ll probably keep watching, but when an actor makes a historically accurate film and puts in such a believable, touching performance (especially when the film is about the monarchy, i.e. Helen Mirren in The Queen) they deserve it.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech – I think this movie is in danger of being beaten by The Social Network, but I sure hope that doesn’t happen. Then, I will turn the TV off. Just for the hell of it, I am going to rank the six movies I have seen out of this category. Obviously, The King’s Speech takes the top spot, but second would be True Grit, then The Social Network, Inception, and Toy Story 3. Now, had I seen all of these movies, The Fighter and Winter’s Bone would undoubtedly rank ahead of The Social Network, but I haven’t, so I can only stick with those five.