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Oscars 2011, My Ballot

Though I follow the Oscars every year, pharm this is the first year I’ve decided to blog about the race leading up to the event which is this Sunday, doctor February 27, 2011. I’ve italicized who or what I want to win, and bold for what I think will win.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Comments: Honestly, I’d be happy if The King’s Speech won too, as my favorites out of the list of top ten nominees here are Inception, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan.

Best Director
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

I think with The King’s Speech winning so many of the awards as of late, that the best director will still go to David Fincher for The Social Network, since the Academy will see him as deserving. Though I appreciate Tom Hooper’s direction for The King’s Speech, I would have to say him and David O. Russell are the weaker of the group. I’m a bit annoyed Christopher Nolan was never nominated, but not that surprised, because he would have been my choice for personal pick.

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

I love Colin Firth. That is all. I kid! Well, I do love Colin Firth, but I think he is deserving of this award for the King’s Speech since I think he captures the stutter so well. The depth in this field though, is pretty deep, despite Firth’s sweep.

Best Actress
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

I was never much of a fan of Natalie Portman. Then I saw Black Swan, and my mind completely changed, as I became a fan after it finished. The competition was between Bening and Portman for a while, and though there still might be an upset by Bening, I think that’s highly doubtful at this point. I much prefer Nicole Kidman or Michelle Williams over Bening, but Portman still leads the pack for me, both in the race and in my own opinion.

Best Supporting Actor
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

Geoffrey Rush’s performance to me, was charming, hit the perfect right notes to offset Colin Firth’s, and left a more lasting impression in my mind as he tried to teach the King how to get over his stutter. While Bale also left an impression, and do think he is deserved as he will win for sure, my personal preference is just for Rush.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Leo will win for The Fighter – and I wouldn’t be able to explain to you why, except that she has been winning for all the major precursors. I really enjoyed Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, but since I find her to be committing a bit of category fraud, I would venture to say this category is very weak this year. My personal pick out of all of these choices would be for Jacki Weaver, since she scared the pants off of me in Animal Kingdom. What a cold, calculating mother she played. Out of all the major acting awards, the supporting actress category seems to be the weakest this year, and this category is most likely to have an upset.

Best Animated Feature
How To Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3

When one of the nominations is also nominated for Best Picture, it’s pretty much a lock for it to win it a sub category. Here, it’s Toy Story 3.
And, the rest of the nominations, of which I offer no commentary 😛

Best Foreign Film
Mexico – Biutiful
Greece – Dogtooth
Denmark – In a Better World
Canada – Incendies
Algeria – Outside the Law

Though my personal preference is for Greece’s Dogtooth, it’s mainly because it’s the only movie I’ve seen. However, I think it will go to In a Better World. Biutiful might be an upset however, for how much campaigning there has been done for the movie, but mostly for Javier Bardem.

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech

I would love for this category to have an upset. This year, the most distinctive screenplay has always been Inception, and stood out above all the rest. It was well crafted and well scripted. It’s my favorite, and I believe it deserves the win. If the Academy wants to award Inception for anything, this would be the award to do so. Having said that, I still believe The King’s Speech will win.

Best Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The King’s Speech
True Grit

There’s more room to wiggle here, but I think The King’s Speech will take it here. The Academy has always favored period pieces for their art and costume design, and The King’s Speech is no different.

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King’s Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Look above.

Best Original Song
Coming Home – Country Strong
I See the Light – Tangled
If I Rise – 127 Hours
We Belong Together – Toy Story 3

I think Toy Story 3 will win it, but my preference is I See the Light in Tangled. It was such a beautiful scene with the floating lanterns. I can’t wait to see Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi perform this (I hope they are including this in the broadcast). In general though, it will be wonderful to see the song nominees Oscar night.

Best 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 & Atticus Ross

This category is really between The Social Network and The King’s Speech. It could easily go either way. Amusingly to me, neither The King’s Speech or The Social Network are the strong scores in this category. For me, half of Inception was the soundtrack by Zimmer, and the sounds of flight still resonates with me when I think of How to Train Your Dragon. I would have traded any of the other three movie nominations with Daft Punk’s soundtrack for TRON: Legacy, which was infinitely more creative and imaginative than The King’s Speech or 127 Hours. I hope this category surprises me, and I get this prediction wrong.

Best Documentary
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

I don’t have a personal preference for this category, as the nominees are all fairly strong. I’ve seen parts of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Restrepo, and Inside Job, so my opinions are not even. However, Inside Job seems to be the front runner here, though I think Exit Through the Gift Shop has plenty of room to upset.

Best Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

One of the strongest points of The Social Network is the technical aspect, and when it comes to film editing, The Social Network is the strongest in feeling extremely well paced, each frame and scene thoughtfully pieced together. It has received a lot of praise for its film editing, and I think it is well deserved.

Best Cinematography
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Inception – Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenberg
True Grit – Roger Deakins

Best Makeup
Barney’s Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

It’s either The Way Back, or The Wolfman, which honestly, I thought had pretty horrible makeup, but what do I know. The Academy might be more swayed towards The Way Back, which is more traditional, but we shall see tomorrow.

Best Sound Editing
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit

Best Sound Mixing
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Iron Man 2

Best Documentary (Short)
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Comes Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Visual Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let’s Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage

Super inventive, super creative, Day & Night (Pixar) is poised to pick up this Best Visual Short Film. But an upset is not unlikely at all, as Pixar has lost in years past, and this category is usually filled with wonderful animation.

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

I think the main race here is between Na Wewe and Wish143… I don’t know much about this category, but that seems to be the two favorites/predictions coming out of critics.

Whether or not this broadcast will be a lackluster year remains to be seen. An upset in one of the major categories will certainly make things more exciting, but I’m not holding my breath. With James Fanco and Anne Hathaway hosting, it should prove to be at least to be somewhat half entertaining…right? I’ll report back tomorrow, maybe with some live commentary! 🙂 What are your picks?

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