This Sunday, the fate of 2010’s best cinema will be decided at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Who will hit it big, and who will go home disgraced? Master strategist and seer of seers Tim Kressman breaks down the major categories and gives some pointers to this year’s young hosts.
Who Will Win: David Fincher
Who Should Win: David Fincher
Dark Horse: Tom Hooper
One of the closest — The Director’s Guild went with Hooper. Picture and Director usually line up, but Fincher’s did the most impressive work of the year.
Nominees: Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), David O. Russell (“The Fighter”), Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), David Fincher (“The Social Network”), Joel and Ethan Coen (“True Grit”)
Will Win: “The King’s Speech”
Should Win: “Black Swan”
Dark Horse: “The Social Network”
A two-film race — “The King’s Speech” has all the momentum with the most nominations at 12. It swept the top guild awards, fits the bill for the “traditional” winner and benefits from the preferential ballot system. The only film with a chance for an upset is “The Social Network,” but the Queen herself gave “The King’s Speech” the thumbs up. So will the Academy.
Nominees: “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”
Who Will Win: Colin Firth
Who Should Win: Colin Firth
Dark Horse: None
King Colin. Thank you for playing.
Nominees: Javier Bardem (“Biutiful”), Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”), Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), James Franco (“127 Hours”)
Who Will Win: Natalie Portman
Who Should Win: Natalie Portman
Black Swan: Annette Bening
Portman’s been in the game for a long time, and this is a career-defining performance. But Bening’s overdue — she has been nominated three times before and is also a governor of the Academy with lots of support.
Nominees: Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”), Nicole Kidman (“Rabbit Hole”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”), Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”), Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”)
//Best supporting actor
Who Will Win: Christian Bale
Who Should Win: John Hawkes
Dark Horse: Geoffrey Rush
It’s Bale v. Rush for the title. Bale has never won before, but also has a bad boy rep in the industry. Rush’s speech therapist perfectly complements Colin Firth’s king — if the Academy is persuaded by “The King’s Speech,” this will go to Rush.
Nominees: 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”)
//Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld
Who Should Win: Melissa Leo
Dark Horse: Helena Bonham Carter
I’m going to take a risk here and go with Steinfeld. Besides, the supporting races are typically the hardest to predict. How great would it be to see a 14-year-old win an Oscar? She was the lead in “True Grit” and held her own against Old Man Bridges. Leo could win, but she put out her own “For Your Consideration” ads — generally a no-no — and Adams presents a votesplitter situation. And don’t count out Carter, though this is not as likely since she does’t shine in “The King’s Speech.” Look out for this one!
Nominees: Amy Adams (“The Fighter”), Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”), Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”), Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”)
//Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: “The Social Network”
Should Win: “The Social Network”
Dark Horse: None
Take it to the bank. “The Social Network” is a fantastic script from Aaron Sorkin and has swept the writer’s awards this year.
Nominees: “127 Hours”, “The Social Network”, “Toy Story 3”, “True Grit”, “Winter’s Bone”
//Best Original Screenplay
Who Will Win: “The King’s Speech”
Who Should Win: “The King’s Speech”
Dark Horse: “Inception”
“The King’s Speech” is the frontrunner. It’s based on notebooks written by Lionel Logue, and the writer David Seidler suffered from a stammer himself. “Inception” is no doubt a creative powerhouse — this could be Christopher Nolan’s consolation prize for being snubbed for Director — but this is “The King’s Speech”’s award to lose.
Nominees: “Another Year”, “The Fighter”, “Inception”, “The Kids Are All Right”, “The King’s Speech”