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Oscar Thoughts And Pointless Predictions

In which I pontificate about the major categories at the 83rd Academy Awards because I’m a blogger and that’s what we do. (Yes, I can still call myself a blogger, even though I haven’t blogged in nearly two months.)

Even though I won’t be able to watch the actual event, I still enjoy the whole silliness of the Academy Awards and providing my completely pointless opinions. Apart from three films (Rabbit Hole, Animal Kingdom and The Illusionist), I have seen all the films that are up for the big awards, which unfortunately makes me think I know what I’m talking about. Let’s see.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Prediction: The King’s Speech
Who I think should win: Inception

Inception was the best film of 2010, no discussion. However, the Academy is not going to recognise it as such. I would like The Social Network to win Best Picture, but I think the rousing and traditional The King’s Speech will win the hearts of the majority of the voters. It is a good film, but The Social Network is better and a more suitable alternative to the correct choice.

Best Directing
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Prediction: David Fincher
Who I think should win: Christopher Nolan

Yes, I know Nolan isn’t nominated; the biggest oversight in this year’s nominations. If you can’t see that Inception was the best directed film of last year, you’re not using your eyes correctly. So the rest of the nominees can consider themselves lucky. Even though the DGA awarded Tom Hooper best director for The King’s Speech, and the DGA award is a clear indicator of the Oscar, I believe that David Fincher will be picked in one of those years where they split the Best Picture and Best Directing, and I’ve got no problem with that. He’s the best of the remaining candidates and he did a great job, better than relative newcomer Hooper.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Prediction: Colin Firth
Who I think should win: Colin Firth

Even though I had no objection to Jeff Bridges finally getting his Oscar for Crazy Heart, it should have gone to Colin Firth for A Single Man. Therefore, I have no issues with him getting it this year. It also helps that he is rather brilliant in the role and so deserves it as well.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Prediction: Natalie Portman
Who I think should win: Natalie Portman

Jennifer Lawrence was excellent in Winter’s Bone, but she won’t get it for a first role. Annette Bening was excellent in The Kids Are All Right (Julianne Moore should have also been nominated), and the Academy might think she deserves it after all this time. But Natalie Portman finally confirmed the promise and brilliance of her role in Leon with a fantastic performance in the wonderfully deranged Black Swan. Everyone else has given her the Best Actress award, and the Academy will agree.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Prediction: Christian Bale
Who I think should win: Andrew Garfield

Yes, Andrew Garfield wasn’t nominated, another horrendous oversight. His excellent turn in The Social Network was the textbook example of a Best Supporting Actor, helping Jesse Eisenberg to fill the role of Mark Zuckerberg so well. However, in the list of actual nominees, I’m quite happy for Christian Bale to win – he’s done some really good work in his career which hasn’t been recognised, and his turn in The Fighter was a delight. I just hope that the Academy doesn’t go overboard on The King’s Speech and give it to Geoffrey Rush just because he’s already got an Oscar …

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Prediction: Helena Bonham Carter
Who I think should win: Lesley Mannville

I’m not trying to be deliberately difficult by wanting people who weren’t nominated to win, but this is the third egregious oversight. Lesley Mannville was phenomenal in Another Year, giving an amazing performance in a role that could have easily been cliched, and it’s terrible that it hasn’t been recognised. The category of Best Supporting Actress can be very difficult to predict, with no clear favourite, and this is one of those years. Melissa Leo has been getting a lot of recognition for The Fighter (which I still don’t think deserves a nomination for Best Picture or Best Directing); Amy Adams was good but not great in the same film; Hailee Steinfield was fantastic in True Grit, but (a) she’s too young for the award unfortunately and (b) it was a lead role and this was tactical positioning; and I haven’t seen Animal Kingdom. However, I think The King’s Speech factor will seep through for Helena Bonham Carter; she is a really good actor and I would very happy for her to win.

Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Guaranteed Prediction: Toy Story 3
Who I think should win: Toy Story 3

There’s really not much else to say, is there? I would like to say that How To Train Your Dragon was really good, but Toy Story 3 was one of the best films of last year, so there it is.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
127 Hours
The Social Network Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Prediction: The Social Network
Who I think should win: The Social Network

Adapted Screenplay can sometimes give love to small independent films, so could show some recognition for Winter’s Bone, but Aaron Sorkin wrote a screenplay that made nerdy men talking about coding and sitting at computers doing the coding into one of the smartest, funny, engaging and amazing films of the year.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech Screenplay

Prediction: The King’s Speech
Who I think should win: Inception

Can you tell that I’m a big fan of Inception? The screenplay for The King’s Speech is a deserving winner, covering a historical topic in personal terms about something important, so I won’t be gnashing my teeth when it wins. However, if ever the word ‘original’ had any meaning in the title of this award, then Inception is the clear winner: amazingly original, smart, entertaining, requiring you to pay attention despite being an action blockbuster.

We’ll see how the Academy feels tonight, and I look forward to watching all the clips in the morning and reading the ‘live’ blogs of Empire and The Guardian to tell me if Anne Hathaway and James Franco were any good. I hope that those of you who can see the show live can enjoy it.

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