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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Oscar Predictions and Nominations Wrap

Well after the Golden Globes performance I had to redeem myself and hopefully my Oscar picks went some of the way to doing that. Let’s have a look at the nominations and the favourites after the jump:

You can expect Colin Firth to walk away with one of these.

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"
Let’s put aside for the fact I got it exactly right and look at the possible frontrunners in this category. We can rule out Winter’s Bone, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, Inception and The Kids are All Right, as none of them were nominated for Directing Oscars. Thanks for coming to the dance, kids. The two clear frontrunners at this stage have to be The Social Network and The King’s Speech. The King’s Speech has the momentum (Producer’s Guild Award and the most nominations) but the Social Network still feels like a very narrow winner. It’s going to be close, folks, but I’ve decided on The Social Network and I’m going to hold my nerve.
Actor in a Leading Role

                  Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
                  Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
                  Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
                  Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
   James Franco in “127 Hours”
Damn you, Javier Bardem. The fifth spot on this list was always up for grabs, a four-way dance between Robert Duvall, Mark Wahlberg, Ryan Gosling and Javier Bardem, and in the end Bardem took the honours for Biutiful. I don’t think it matters in the long run, as Colin Firth is almost unassailable in this category despite Eisenberg and Franco being equally worthy.
Actor in a Supporting Role

                  Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
                  John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
                  Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
                  Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”
It’s funny how things happen. About four months ago the one guaranteed lock for Best Supporting Actor was Andrew Garfield for the Social Network. Fast forward to now and he’s a late victim of the success of Winter’s Bone, ousted by John Hawkes, as a series of fantastic supporting performances conspired to knock him off the list. It doesn’t matter though, as Christian Bale should win this category and win it easily. He is fantastic.
Actress in a Leading Role

                  Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
                  Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
                  Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
                  Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

This is a really, really good category. I said in an earlier piece that maybe the reason Aaron Eckhart missed out on Best Actor was a more crowded field but these are the best five lead actress performances of the year, no doubt, and not a weak link among them. I’m looking forward to see who wins this category because while the Best Actor and Supporting Actor categories have huge favourites, I don’t think Natalie Portman is guaranteed the win here. You could really do worse than to jump on Annette Bening ($6.00 with Sportsbet, punters) to upset this category.
Actress in a Supporting Role

                  Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
                  Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
                  Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
                  Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
The real question, as I mentioned in my predictions, was not whether Jacki Weaver would get nominated but rather whether Hailee Steinfeld would get nominated in Lead or Supporting. Mila Kunis can count herself unlucky, but again this is an excellent category. The frontrunner is Melissa Leo, but don’t discount Amy Adams. I think she’s a genuine shot to win this category. (At $13 as well – not too shabby.)

                  “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
                  “The Fighter” David O. Russell
                  “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
                  “The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
The Internet is up in arms about Christopher Nolan’s surprising omission from this category, and I think probably rightfully so. Inception is a truly visionary film, brilliantly directed whereas I think the Fighter is elevated by its acting rather than its direction. But hey, Nolan got a Best Original Screenplay nod, so its not all bad.

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