And so we have arrived with less than 24 hours before Oscar Day, it’s time to unveil the winners for the big categories, you know, acting, directing, best pic. If you’re interested in my selections for the other categories, check ’em out here. All right, enough pandering, let’s get to it.
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
My Pick: The Social Network At a WGA Writers event, Sorkin revealed that Social was shot from one draft. One. That means whatever Sorkin wrote on down the first time was what Fincher ended up shooting (albeit with about 100 takes per scene). That is simply unheard of and if you’re a writer, you either have to sit in awe of that fact or feel the morsels of self-confidence crumble like dried oatmeal cookies…. Mmmm cookies.
Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler
My Pick: Inception This one seems like a lock for Nolan. Kind of like his substitute award for not getting nominated for director. Of course King’s Speech is in this category here and could unjustly steal this award away from Nolan. But I have faith.
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
My Pick : Inception Social and King’s are in the “happy to be nominated” category here, while Grit, while nicely shot, doesn’t have the visual impact of Inception and Swan. So while it’s a two-horse race, it really isn’t. Swan has a limited outside chance of winning this but against Inception, my money’s on Nolan’s mind-bender.
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
My Pick: Darren Aronofsky The category that generated the most buzz on Nominations Morning with its omission of Chris Nolan. Frankly, this is Aronofsky’s to lose. The Coens and Fincher have an outside chance, but really, the mustached man should take home this trophy.
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
My Pick: Hailee Steinfeld One could argue that Steinfeld doesn’t really belong in this category, which is true. But slotting her in the Leading Actress category vs. the likes of Portman and Bening would drop her awards chances drastically. Among the other nominees, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo cancel each other out. We’ve seen it time and again with multiple nominees for the same movie. Helena Bonham Cater could play spoiler if King’s picks up a wave of momentum, although I don’t see it happening here. And Jacki Weaver’s nomination I don’t really get and yes, I did watch Animal Kingdom and I was bored out of my mind. I’ll blog that in the next “What I Watched…” So, that been said, congratulations Ms. Steinfeld! (Video below of her leaving the set of ‘True Grit’)
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
My Pick: Christian Bale Take Hawkes, Renner and Ruffalo and give them a handshake and a pat on the back because this is a showdown between Bale and Rush. The outcome all depends on how much momentum their respective films can pick up over the course of the night. Throughout the awards season, they’ve been more or less split down the middle in regards to accolades. But in this battle of Brit vs. Aussie, I’ll side with the Brit who’s simply mesmerizing as Dicky Eklund.
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
My Pick: Natalie Portman Portman is the safe pick and as much as I would like to go with Bening in the upset of the night, I can’t. Just can’t. Kids was a pretty good movie, but against Swan, fuhgetaboutit. Kidman, Lawrence, Williams, thanks for playing and wear something nice.
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
My Pick: Colin Firth Again, a lock. Only Eisenberg and perhaps Bridges could play spoiler, but, no, no, not happening. This one is guaranteed.
The Academy could save about twenty minutes of airtime by just showing this YouTube video.
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
My Pick: The King’s Speech If I ran the world, not only would I be worn out from all the stress and lack of sleep, but Inception would walk away with this award. But, thankfully, I don’t run the world and so what this category boils down to is The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network vs. True Grit. Social was the early favorite. Then King’s started to garner some momentum and Grit followed with an impressive performance at the box office. Taking my cue from what happened in the battle between Avatar and Hurt Locker, I’m going with King’s. It’s not the best movie of the bunch and I’m sure there are those that would argue that Black Swan or the best reviewed movie of 2010, Toy Story 3 should be in the conversation. But then that would be complicating things too much and the Academy voters like to keep things simple and go with the chic picks. Hence, King’s for the win.