Like last year, I am going to be predicting who I think will be taking home the big prizes during the Academy Awards. You can check out last year’s predictions here. This year I am also adding who I think should win and who was snubbed.
The King’s Speech seems to have all the momentum coming in; having won big prizes in the main industry award ceremonies like the Producer’s Guild Awards, the Director’s Guild Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. However, the Golden Globe went to The Social Network and Black Swan has been winning a number of awards as well. I could see any of those three running away with the show, but I think the Oscars will be more evenly distributed than most years. So onto the predictions.
Prediction – The King’s Speech
Should Win – Inception
Snub – Kick-Ass
The King’s Speech was a fine film, but Inception was a breathtaking, original piece of filmmaking. Kick-Ass was misunderstood by many but may be the best super-hero movie in recent memory.
Prediction – Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Should Win – Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Snub – Christopher Nolan for Inception
Frankly, Tom Hooper made some bizarre and distracting camera shot choices in his movie. Aronofsky’s directing was frenetic yet controlled. He successfully blurred horror, surrealism, and drama into one Aronofsky piece of filmmaking. Inception is easily the most obvious snub here.
Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction – Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
Should Win – Jeff Bridges for True Grit
Snub – Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island
Firth was great as a stuttering King, but Jeff Bridges took an iconic role and made it completely his own. DiCaprio portrayal of the obsessed Detective Daniels and the multiple sides of the obsession were what all of Shutter Island was built on. If he had faltered it would not have worked.
Actress in Leading Role
Prediction – Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Should Win – Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Snub – Julianne Moore for The Kids are Alright
Natalie Portman gives a fearless, once-in-a-lifetime performance as a ballerina pushed to the breaking point by her art. She far and away deserves the Oscar. Julianne Moore was the emotional heart of The Kids are Alright so it was a bit curious that Annette Bening was nominated over her.
Actor in Supporting Role
Prediction – Christian Bale for The Fighter
Should Win – Christian Bale for The Fighter
Snub – Matt Damon for True Grit
Bale was totally immersed in his role. You can see his character not just in his body transformation but also in his body language. Other than Natalie Portman this seems like the most deserved Oscar. Damon had a difficult role to play in True Grit. He found consistency in a character that the audience’s perception changes multiple times. That he stayed true to the character is a feat
Actress in a Supporting Role
Prediction – Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Should Win – Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit
Snub – Mila Kunis for Black Swan
Melissa Leo was good as the tough Matriarch of a boxing family in The Fighter, but it is nothing we have not seen before. Hailee Steifeld held her own against number of more experienced actors and carried a lot of the movie herself as well. Without Mila Kunis’s layered and nuanced performance as friend/rival in Black Swan, Natalie Portman’s would not have been nearly as effective.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Prediction – Christopher Nolan for Inception
Should Win – Christopher Nolan for Inception
Snub – Gary Whitta for The Book of Eli
I believe this will be the one place where the Academy makes up for overlooking Inception in other categories it deserves to win in. The Book of Eli was an interesting and different look at an apocalyptic future. Why it was labeled a hackneyed look at that future is curious.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Prediction – Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Should Win – Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Snub – Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Sorkin made what could have been a guy typing on his keyboard into an incredibly exciting yarn. I think the Academy will award him for that unless The King’s Speech pulls of a sweep. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World brought some new sensibilities to movies and did it well. Not to mention it must have been one of the hardest adaptations, yet they managed to create a strong narrative.
Animated Feature Film
Prediction – Toy Story 3
Should Win – Toy Story 3
Snub – Despicable Me
Toy Story 3 is simply one of the best films of the past few years, one that both adults and kids can get something from. Pixar owns this category in any case. Despicable Me was a charming little movie that would have been nominated any year that a How to Train Your Dragon and a Pixar movie did not come out.