Reposting: My Complete, Fearless 2011 Oscar Predictions! Then Come Back Here and Join My Oscar Minute-by-Minute Blogfest! 


It's hard to predict the winners of this year's Oscars because there is no clear-cut favorite. Last year, Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" started strong during awards season and maintained its dominance all the way to its Oscar best picture victory. This year, David Fincher's "The Social Network" triumphed in the beginning but the Oscar buzz surrounding the movie is slowly fading away.

But I still have my favorites and I will attempt to handicap the Oscars. Here are my predictions of who should take home Oscar gold at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.



BEST PICTURE
“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

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- "The King's Speech"

From fine performances to Tom Hooper's direction, "The King's Speech" has Oscars written all over it. The Academy loves "against all odds" stories and the true-life tale of King George VI trying to overcome his speech impediment to unite his country will have voters clapping for Oscar joy. Plus, "The King's Speech" continues to triumph at the box-office ($104 million and counting) and in Hollywood, that counts for gold.

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

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- David Fincher for "The Social Network"

Normally, whoever gets crowned as best director by the Directors Guild of America moves on to win an Oscar. Not this year. While Hooper certainly deserved his DGA award, he is still a relatively unknown director to the Academy. Therefore, they will bestow the award to Fincher, who was previously nominated for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

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”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- Colin Firth for "The King's Speech"

In an ideal Oscar season, Firth should have won last year for "A Single Man" to give way for Jeff Bridges' equally powerful performance in "True Grit" this year. But the Oscar gods were playing tricks on us and gave Bridges an Oscar for "Crazy Heart" last year. Firth is a clear-cut favorite in this category to win this year, and he will take home the Oscar. The Academy loves disabled characters on the big screen, just watch "Tropic Thunder" for reference.

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”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- Natalie Portman for "Black Swan"

This is the category where my heart aches. I adore Portman, and I think she's a brilliant actress stemming from her memorable debut in 1994's "The Professional." Sure, she's the clear-cut favorite to win an Oscar, but her performance in "Black Swan" was heavily edited and relied too much on Darren Aronofsky's direction. Contrast that with Annette Bening's standout portrayal of a jilted lesbian mother in "The Kids Are All Right." No quick edits and no cinematic sleight of hand, just old-school acting at its finest.

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”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- Christian Bale for "The Fighter"

Witness Bale's impressive turn in David O. Russell's "The Fighter." He will grab a hold of you from the beginning and will not let go until the very end. Among all the nominees, I still could not shake away Bale's performance.

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”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- Melissa Leo for "The Fighter"

Leo should have won an Oscar for her heartbreaking performance in 2008's "Frozen River." So the Academy will make amends by giving her the trophy this year even though I think Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit" deserves it more.

BEST WRITING (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

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- Aaron Sorkin for "The Social Network"

When I reviewed "The Social Network" last September, I predicted that Sorkin's script, full of unreliable narrators and memorable lines, would win this category. I still believe that. (Check out my "The Social Network" movie review right here)

BEST 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

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO -- David Seidler for "The King's Speech"


The brilliant Christopher Nolan took home a Writers Guild of America award for best original screenplay for "Inception." But the Academy deems the movie as too mind-bending, and relegates it to the special-effects bin. "Inception" will win all the technical categories, but will be ignored for its script. Seidler's lyrical prose for "The King's Speech" will take home the gold instead.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Toy Story 3”


Is it even a question that Pixar will win this category? Plus, the Academy nominated “Toy Story 3” as one of the Best Picture contenders. It will not win Best Film, but it will be the Best Animated Feature Film.

BEST ART DIRECTION

“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Inception”
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat

“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inception”

Its brilliant art direction already won the Art Directors Guild award for Fantasy Film. But “King’s Speech” also won for Period Film. Between the two movies, who has the most eye-popping visual look? Yes, “Inception!”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inception”

I enjoyed Roger Deakins’ work in “True Grit” and Matthew Libatique’s in “Black Swan,” but Wally Pfister’s cinematography mesmerized me last summer and I still couldn’t forget the film’s great visuals! Plus points for Pfister for winning the ASC American Society of Cinematographers award over favorite Deakins.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Alice in Wonderland”

This is a tough one. Both “Alice” and “King’s Speech” won Costume Designers Guild Awards for Fantasy and Period categories, respectively. But I will go with Colleen Atwood’s work in “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s the most vibrant and imaginative piece of work among the nominees. And in this category, when all else fails, think…fantasy!

BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inside Job”

I’m still bummed that “Waiting for Superman” did not get a nomination, even though it won a Producers Guild Award for documentary. So that leaves Writers Guild Award winner, “Inside Job,” to win. But truth be told, I’m rooting for Banksy’s “Exit through the Gift Shop.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Killing in the Name”

I really enjoyed “The Warriors of Oiugang” but “Killing in the Name” has a strong, Oscar-ready subject – one Jordanian’s fight against Muslim extremists!

BEST FILM EDITING

“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “The Social Network”


Too bad “Inception” wasn’t nominated. It’s dazzlingly, well-choreographed editing work helped us follow the mind-bending trip. BUT, “The Social Network” benefitted greatly from Angus Wall’s and Kirk Baxter’s editing work. And the film already won the ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Dramatic Feature. So there!

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Biutiful” Mexico
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “In a Better World”

I love “Biutiful,” and Canada’s “Incendies” was also, well, beautiful (actually, more like terrifically devastating), but the buzz belongs to Denmark’s “In a Better World” which was helped by its Golden Globe win!

BEST MAKEUP

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “The Wolfman”


Wolves! Hair! Fangs!

BEST 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

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “The Social Network”


Sure, the Academy loves classical, but remember, they also awarded A.R. Rahman’s score for “Slumdog Millionaire.” And the work by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Social Network” blended seamlessly with the film. So my heart and my mind both “like” the “The Social Network.”

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”

Randy Newman and Alan Menken will probably split the votes here, and so, the emerging winner will be the Critics’ Choice darling, “If I Rise” from “127 Hours.” Go Dido!

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

“Day & Night” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “The Gruffalo”

I love Pixar’s “Day & Night,” but “Toy Story 3” will win the Animated Feature. Too much love is not a good thing so the Academy will favor the buzzworthy “The Gruffalo” voiced by Helena Bonham Carter.

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “The Confession”

I love “Na Wewe,” genocide with a light, airy tone, but I think “The Confession” will win since it’s the best directed effort here.

BEST SOUND EDITING

“Inception” Richard King
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inception”

Give it to “Inception” already!

BEST SOUND MIXING

“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inception”

Yes, it’s technically flawless!

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO – “Inception”

The moment we saw the buildings became roads and vice versa, I was hooked! If you think other contenders deserve this award? Dream on y’all!

NOTE:

Come back here to join my live, minute-by-minute Oscar blog on Sunday, February 27th starting at 4:30pm Pacific. Grab your drinks and finger foods, we'll blog the Oscars until we're all drunk! Come on, admit it, you want to talk fashion!


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