Oscar predictions, 2011

Earlier this week, Oscar nominations came out, and while once again I’ve seen a paltry number of the films nominated, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and make some predictions I will likely eat in the end.

But ah well, that’s part of the fun, but we’re going to shake things up a bit this time. For this year’s prognostications, I’m going with two categories, what I believe will happen and what I would like to happen.

Let’s get to it (and good luck to you all playing the home game). See you in February.

Best Picture

“Black Swan”

“The Fighter”

“Inception”

“The Kids Are All Right”

“The King’s Speech”

“127 Hours”

“The Social Network”

“Toy Story 3″

“True Grit”

“Winter’s Bone”

What I would like to win: “Toy Story 3″ – no other movie hit me quite like this one, and while I’m sure it’s a lock for Animated Feature, it deserves the big trophy too.

What I think will win: “The King’s Speech” – I’m hedging here, because I’ve seen only three nominated films (yep, three), and the film with the most nominations usually wins. And from everything I’ve heard about “The King’s Speech,” it’s exactly the kind of good but safe picture that usually cleans up come awards time.

Best Director

“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

Who I would like to win: Darren Aronofsky – maybe it’s a left field choice, maybe not, but all the reviews, positive and negative, I’ve read about his “Black Swan” have made me want to see this film more than any others in this category.

Who I think will win: Tom Hooper – See above. I’m playing it safe this year.

Best Actress

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”

Who I would like to win: Annette Bening – She was fantastic in “Kids” and she is a national treasure, I’ve loved her in movies for many, many years now, and I would love to see her finally win some recognition for all the great performances over the years, including this one.

Who I think will win: Natalie Portman – the buzz is all with her this year. Dammit.

Best Actor

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”

Who I would like to win: Colin Firth – Even with the negatives I’ve heard about “King’s Speech,” everyone has praised his performance. Plus, I’ve always liked him.

Who I think will win: Colin Firth – there were other performances this year too, but he’s got buzz on his side (for now anyway).

 

Best Supporting Actress

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”

Who I would like to win: Hailee Steinfeld – who doesn’t like to hear stories about fresh young talent coming from nowhere?

 

Who I think will win: Hailee Steinfeld. Again, buzz and crazy talent.

 

Best Supporting Actor

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”

Who I would like to win: Jeremy Renner – Last year, he lost out for “The Hurt Locker,” and that was a damn shame; he’s incredibly talented, and it would be awesome if this were his year too.

Who I think will win: Geoffrey Rush – I really can’t argue with numbers.

Best Adapted Screenplay

“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy

“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin

“Toy Story 3″ Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich

“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

“Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

What I would like to win: “Toy Story 3″ – I am firmly in this camp as far as it goes.

What I think will win: “True Grit” – From the little I’ve heard, it’s a fantastic remake, and while it’s a long shot (maybe), stranger things have happened.

 

Best Original Screenplay

“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh

“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;

Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson

“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan

“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg

“The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

 

What I would like to win: “The Kids Are All Right” – Hey, I’ve seen two films in this category (“Inception” is the other) and “Kids” treats all its characters as real people, a rare find. It’s a small, personal pick that usually doesn’t win big, but I’d like it all the same.

 

What I think will win: “Inception” – I liked the film well enough, although I didn’t love it, and the voters tend to go for the outside choices here.

 

Some other picks

  • I’d really like to see “Inception” win for Best Score; the music was practically another character in that movie (and a great one at that).

  • “Day and Night” will hopefully take home the Best Animated Short award. With no dialogue, it’s a moving little short about jealousy, longing, loneliness and finding a friend.

  • Shame “Inception” was snubbed for the Best Film Editing. Totally deserved that one.

  • And surprise, surprise, I really hope “Toy Story 3″ takes the animated feature film award, but if it doesn’t, “How to Train Your Dragon” would be a worthy choice too.

Hey, want a second opinion? Check out Jim‘s predictions.