Saturday, February 26, 2011

Official Oscar Predictions 2011

No Introduction Necessary. This column is all you need for you Oscar pool tomorrow night. Unless you want to win, of course. Then go read a blog from a real Oscar pundit.

Another quick note or two: A) be sure to check out the podcast in the post below with some more Oscar prediction chat. B) I will be tweeting some thoughts tomorrow night, so if you want some cynical insight on the way the night is turning out, then be sure to follow me at

The King's Speech will take
home the big one tomorrow.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 70

Comments: Unfortunately I feel like I’ve already talked about this ad nauseum on here because of the amount of time I’ve discussed it with friends and read about it online, but I guess I haven’t really gone into detail about it on here yet. But this is the movie that will win tomorrow night, unless a welcome upset from The Social Network shocks the world. This was the movie that made people feel good, and it was a period piece about overcoming a disability, all things the Academy loves. So, there ya go.

Could Win: The Social Network

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Another Year or Blue Valentine

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

% Sure: 51

Comments: On the podcast yesterday I predicted Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. As of this moment I am hereby switching my vote and going with the conventional wisdom that David Fincher gets his statue tomorrow night. It does irk me a little that if a voter thinks The King’s Speech is the best movie of the year that they wouldn’t vote for Tom Hooper, but that’s just me, I guess. A lot of times when there is a Best Director/Best Picture split, it is because the director made the more avant-guarde film of the two and people want to reward that while giving the overall BP award to the film they liked or enjoyed more, which is normally the conventional one. I guess that’s the case here. I know now that I have predicted this that Tom Hooper will win, so you might want to take that into account as well.

Could Win: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Mike Leigh, Another Year

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

% Sure: 100

Comments: Unfortunately, this is the only acting category that I’m absolutely sure on. Which is sad, because I predicted all four correctly last year, and this year I’m in serious jeopardy of being able to get only one or two out of the four. I will be really happy to get just three correct. The worst part about all of this is that I spend otherworldly amounts of time reading awards blogs and such, and when it all comes down to it, my guess is going to be as good as anyone else’s on many of these categories. So why do I waste all this time researching this crap? I...I don’t know...

Could Win: Adam Sandler, Grownups. Because if you think about it, he has just as big of a chance to win as anyone who’s nominated that’s not named Colin Firth.

Should Win: Colin Firth (with all due respect to James Franco who I loved in 127 Hours).

Should Have Been There: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

% Sure: 89

Comments: Natalie Portman will win. A few people are predicting an Annette Bening upset but that’s a pretty gutsy prediction considering that Portman has won just about every award that counts so far this season. HOWEVER, in 2008 Mickey Rourke was the frontrunner for Best Actor in another Aronofky-directed film, The Wrestler. What happened? He lost to Sean Penn, a respected Hollywood veteran playing a homosexual in Milk, just like Bening this year. So it won’t completely floor me if Bening steals it.

Could Win: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Should Win: (My personal pick out of the nominated choices would be Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone, but Portman is a totally respectable winner if she does end up pulling it out.)

Should Have Been There: Julianne Lawrence, The Kids Are All Right

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter

% Sure: 85

Comments: This is by far my favorite of the acting categories. Any of the nominees would be a respectable choice to win, and even though Ruffalo is my personal favorite, Bale and Rush also gave two of the best performances of the year, and would be totally happy if either won.

Could Win: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Should Win: Mark Ruffalo (Sue me. It’s my blog, I’ll pick who I want, leave me alone!)

Should Have Been There: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

% Sure: 30

Comments: Anyone’s game here. In fact, I would say it is the one category in the entire list where there are 3 or even 4 nominees that I could see taking it. But that’s just me. You have a veteran frontrunner in Leo who almost spoiled her chances by taking out her own tacky “For Your Consideration” adds, which is leading some to believe that she won’t take it, despite her SAG win and Golden Globe win, among many others. Then, you have Hailee Steinfeld, a freaking 14-year old who somehow steals the show from Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in True Grit. Category confusion, I think, kept her from being able to win some precursor awards, which is the sole reason I’m not predicting her.

Then, there’s Helena Bonham Carter who, for once in her life wasn’t playing a witch, an evil queen, or a cannibalistic pie-baker, and I enjoyed her understated, delightful portrayal of the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech. If she wins, it will be on the coattails of a movie that looks to win several other awards. Jacki Weaver is another interesting long-shot possibility, and in a just world she would be getting far more attention for her evil-mother role in Animal Kingdom. Amy Adams probably should just be happy to be there, but maybe I’m just biased since I thought she was only the 11th best actor in her movie (behind Bale, Leo, Walhberg, and the 7 sisters).

Final Odds Tally: Leo = 30%, Steinfeld = 25%, Carter = 25%, Weaver = 15%, Adams = 5%

Could Win: Steinfeld or Carter

Should Win: Steinfeld

Should Have Been There: Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

% Sure: 100

Comments: Aaron Sorkin is a beast, and this category is a lock. End of story.

Could Win: Toy Story 3

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: I’m actually pretty happy with the lineup as it is.

Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 99.5

Comments: Another easy call here for your Oscar poll. The only precursor it didn’t win was the WGA, but it wasn’t eligible because the screenwriter isn’t a member of the guild, so I don’t see that as a hurdle. However, a lot of people liked both The Kids Are All Right and Inception’s screenplays, so there’s a couple upset contenders waiting in the wings. I feel pretty safe on this category, but I did last year as well and I got both screenplay categories wrong, so who knows.

Could Win: The Kids Are All Right

Should Win: Another Year

Should Have Been There: Blue Valentine

The Illusionist would be my pick for animated
 feature, but no one asked me.
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

% Sure: 200

Comments: Pixar continues their streak of greatness with a third installment in their flagship franchise.  If this doesn’t win then I don’t know anything.

Could Win: How To Train Your Dragon

Should Win: The Illusionist (call me a snob, whatever. TS3 is great but The Illusionist is one of the most unique films of the year)

Should Have Been There: Just happy that The Illusionist got a nod.

Best Editing: The Social Network

% Sure: 85

Comments: Such a unique and noticeable editing style, switching back and forth between multiple storylines infused the movie with drama and anticipation. The only way it loses is if there is unbridled affection for The King’s Speech within the Academy. Oh wait...there is.

Could Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: All good nominations.

Best Cinematography: True Grit

% Sure: 75

Comments: True Grit is the most prototypical candidate and the cinematographer and frequent Coen Brothers collaborator Roger Deakins is well overdue. True Grit has 10 nominations and by my calculation, this is the only one that it will win...I don’t think it can go home empty-handed, but that’s me.

Could Win: All of the other candidates are very close, but a certain King’s Speech bias could be enough to take this category. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Should Win: Either Black Swan or The Social Network (but I will be happy if True Grit does indeed win.)

Should Have Been There: The American

Best Art Direction: Inception The King’s Speech

% Sure: 25

Comments: I hate this category. When it comes down to it I’m going with The King’s Speech because it’s a period-piece and a Best Picture frontrunner. Inception and Alice in Wonderland could easily take it. In fact, I almost switched my vote just now to Inception. Ah, screw it.

Could Win: Inception

Should Win: Meh...Inception I guess.

Should Have Been There: Another Year

Best Costume Design: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 50

Comments: Once again, throwing darts at the board. Going with the frontrunner again, even though on yesterday’s podcast I picked Alice. At the very least I can get one of the two correct between this category and Art Direction if I pick the same for both. Then again, if it wins neither, I’m screwed.

Could Win: Alice in Wonderland

Should Win: The King’s Speech

Should Have Been There: The Fighter

Best Makeup: The Wolfman

% Sure: 75

Comments: Whatever.

Inception will deservedly take home 3 technicals,
by my count.
Best Sound Mixing: Inception

% Sure: 90

Comments: The Academy I think will go for the Best-Picture nominated blockbuster here.

Best Sound Editing: Inception

% Sure: 95

Comments: See above.

(My Should Have Been There for each of these categories is 127 Hours. I will never forget the sound of Franco gulping his own urine.)

Best Visual Effects: Inception

% Sure: 97

Comments: This should be more of a lock than it is considering the competition, but whatever. I think it will win for the same reasons that it will win the sound categories.

Best Original Score: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 75

Comments: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score from The Social Network could easily surprise here.

Could win: The Social Network

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Black Swan (it was disqualified, but oh well).

Best Original Song: “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

% Sure: 65

Comments: I actually haven’t heard any of these. Great insight, huh?

Could Win: “If I Rise” from 127 Hours

Bardem's acting might be good
enough to get Biutiful a
foreign film win.
Best Foreign Film: In a Better World

% Sure: 51

Comments: Only seen one nominee, Dogtooth, and that’s not winning, but it looks to be a three-way race between In a Better World, Biutiful, and Incendies. Most are predicting what I am though. This category is always difficult to get a handle on.

Best Documentary Feature: Inside Job

% Sure: 65

Comments: I really, really, REALLY want to pick Exit Through The Gift Shop here, as it is a favorite of mine and because seeing what kind of stunts Banksy will pull if he won would be great. However, I’m sticking with the conventional and topical doc by Charles Ferguson as my prediction. It was a really well-made movie and would be a deserving win in most years, but this year I just felt that Exit was so original and fresh that it would be very disappointing if it loses. The steak-eaters in the Academy probably won’t go for it though.

Best Animated Short: Madagascar, A Journey Diary (although I can totally see Day & Night winning, and I’m going to be mad at myself when it does.)

Best Live-Action Short: Wish 143

Best Documentary, Short Subject: Strangers No More

That's it, and I'm on the record.  Hope you enjoyed it.


Emily said...

Why do you always have to hate on The King's Speech?

adamsrearwindow said...

Ohhhhh c'mon! At what point in this column did I hate on TKS? Did you read my tweets last night? I'll give you two for evidence:

"That clip of Colin Firth in TKS reminded me that yes, that is indeed one of the best performances of the year. Totally deserved."

"I'm not bitter, though...TKS is a great film."

Emily said...

Haha! True.

Also, I realized last night that I love every single actor that was nominated in the supporting category. Best category of the night. We're currently watching Deadwood so I'm kind of on a John Hawkes high right now.