The 83rd Academy Awards are going on this weekend, prepare for glitz, glamour and a whole lot of smiling in corsets. This is an especially impressive year, with a number of worthy nominees ranging from box office successes to barely seen indie films alike, BUT as it goes every year, it’s not always the most worthy opponent that takes home that sexy-golden-man (who I just realized carries a sword — what does that have to do with film?). The Oscars are a mixture of acknowledging perseverance and your good ol’ fashioned popularity contest.
So, who will win and who should win? We may be a bit cocky, but something about this years nominees just seems obvious. Let’s look at the top 10 categories and pick out the winners…
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
Who Should Win: Jeff Bridges should be winning this year for his performance “True Grit” and Colin Firth should be taking the award last year for his performance in “A Single Man” – the world just isn’t fair, BUT both are worthy competitors.
Who Will Win: Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” – Once again he gives an award winning performance in another stellar film. This time, it’s HIS time.
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”
Who Should Win: Christian Bale in “The Fighter” or John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” — It’s all about the crackheads in this category, but one has been around longer.
Who Will Win: Christian Bale in “The Fighter” — this one is all about skill meets sticking in there through bad publicity and being more popular.
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”
Who Should Win: Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” — This was one of the bravest and most honest roles of the last decade.
Who is Close to Winning: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” — She’s all the rage and she’s put in a lot a hard work, is this her best performance to date? That’s debatable, but she is damn good and does “deserve” it.
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”
Who Should Win: To me, this is the strongest category this year. Every one of these performances is award winning, they all should win. Adams, hilarious and amazing; Carter, subtle and yet potent; Leo, once gain she’s transformed in front of our eyes; Steinfeld, watch out Foster, there’s a new youngin’ in town; Weaver, no one knows how to master “insanity” better for the big screen.
Who Will Win: Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” — She didn’t win it for “Frozen River”, now’s her time and well earned.
Animated Feature Film
- “How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
- “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
- “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
Who Should Win: “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet — Go see it. I know you haven’t.
Who Will Win: “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich — This is Pixar’s category and yes I cried like a baby. All the films in this section are good, it’s just some are actually “Oscar Film” and the others are just great films.
- “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 Should Win: This is the trickiest one; all of these films are solid, they all took risks, they all have some faults, and chances are, none of these films will soon be forgotten. David O. Russell, too risky; I would say Darren Aronofsky, but he won last time he was nominated; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, they won too recently and people preferred No Country for Old Men more… For me it’s a toss up between David Fincher with one of the most timely and popular films of the year and Tom Hopper with one of the most well-made and classic films of the year.
Who Will Win: Tom Hooper — the Oscar’s love a classic and that’s exactly what this film is.
- “Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot
- “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
- “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Who Should Win: “Barney’s Version” – Some of the best “old people” make-up I’ve ever seen. And I personally loved what Rick Baker did with “The Wolfman” but I don’t think anyone will give it an Oscar. It’s a shame — could have been a great film.
Who Will Win: The Way Back — Because it’s directed by Peter Weiss and this film was an epic that was completely unrecognized for anything else.
Music (Original Score)
- “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
- “Inception” Hans Zimmer
- “The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat
- “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
- “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Who Should Win: Alexandre Desplat –Nothing else stands out. This score was nicely done and probably one of the best stories. People love uplifting movies with uplifting music. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are the dark horse combo because they’re just so “now”! Kind of like A.R. Rahman was considered the “new thing” two years ago.
Who Will Win: Alexandre Desplat – Again, this is an Oscar score for an Oscar film.
- “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
- “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
- “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
- “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
- “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
- “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
- “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
- “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
- “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
- “Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
Who Should Win: The Fighter – The more I think about this film, the more I like it. AND it stands the test of multiple views.
Who Might Sneak In: The Black Swan - Something tells me that it may just have enough big drama, with big music and big performances to sell it to people OR they might be swayed by the most timely film of the year, The Social Network.
Who Will Win: The King’s Speech – Again, people love a classic and this is exactly that.
Writing (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
Who Should Win: “Another Year” – So well done
Who Will Win: “The King’s Speech” – it’s popular, it’s well made, it’s got other awards to win — it’s a shoe in.