Official Oscar Predictions- Duncan

Here we go again! Note to self- stop picking with your heart. You specifically ran a feature on Friday to get all that out of your system. Be cold and logical.

I know I picked a handful already, but some have waffled- this is the master list.

Best Short Film – Live Action

The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Did not end up seeing the shorts this year, nor purchasing them on itunes. God of Love seems to be the one that stands out from the pack (three of the other four are mega-depressing, The Crush sounds too slight). If I've learned anything, it's that comedies tend to stand out in the crowd in the short films (see The Other Tenants and West Bank Story the last couple of years).

Will Win: God of Love

Best Short Film – Animated

Day and Night
The Gruffalo
Let’s Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, a Journey Diary

I think the rule is to make up imaginary criteria to judge this one, because there's no pattern to follow and no easy way to win (not even a Pixar short or a Wallace and Gromit installment is safe anymore). So I say The Gruffalo wins because it is A) The Longest (like last year's Peter and The Wolf) and B) Stuffed with more celebrity voices. Done!

Will Win: The Gruffalo


Best Documentary – Short Subjects

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Comes Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

What's hot right now among these five serious-minded short docs? The Middle East is a big deal, right?

Will Win: Killing in the Name

Best Documentary

Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

I've only seen Restrepo, so I'm uninformed here as well- I'm going with the late game switch from Inside Job to Exit Through The Gift Shop, though. It's getting all the buzz/graffiti these days.

Will Win: Exit Through The Gift Shop

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing

I stand by my pick of Inception for all three of these. Winning only these three is known as "Pulling a Bourne Ultimatum," FYI.

Best Original Song

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

It seems to me that every time there's no Seabiscuit-like frontrunner, then you should stay away from the one that everyone's just kinda settled on. That would be the Randy Newman song from Toy Story 3. And I think it would be just like the Academy to spurn him another time for Alan Mencken, the Oscar Winningest person alive.

Will Win/My Vote: Tangled – “I See The Light”

Best Original Score

127 Hours
How to Train Your Dragon
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

It hurts my heart to predict Desplat's score for The King's Speech, which mails in the films climax and sub in Beethoven and is otherwise not memorable (especially for such a gifted composer). This is because beyond 127 Hours' score (which was... loud), the remaining three are nearly tied for my favorite score of the year, and I'd be thrilled to see them win.

Will Win: The King's Speech
My Vote: The Social Network

Best Make Up

Barney’s Vision
The Way Back
The Wolfman

See here.

Will Win: The Wolfman
My Vote: The Way Back

Best Costume Design

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

Continue seeing here.

Will Win: The King’s Speech
My Vote: True Grit

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows: Part One
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Art Direction, my yearly pick to go rogue. I think that The King's Speech has lost a little bit of steam- not much, but enough to lose this category. Logic would dictate that a Tim Burton film would be a likely upset pick, but Alice In Wonderland was apparently terrible. So I say Inception gets a well-deserved fourth win here. This isn't emotional, I swear.

Will Win/My Vote: Inception

Best Editing

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

The only guild award that The Social Network picked up will hold true tonight. Call it a consolation prize.

Will Win/My Vote: The Social Network

Best Cinematography

Black Swan
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit


Will Win/My Vote: True Grit

Best Foreign Language Film

In a Better World
Outside the Law

Dogtooth is enjoyable effed up, but I imagine (without having seen anything else) that there were better foreign films out there last year. In another abrupt reversal, I'm going with Bier's In A Better World. I have an unresearched theory that second nominations in this category (she had After The Wedding a few years back) give you a leg up.

Will Win: In A Better World

Best Animated Film

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Cars 2? Seriously Pixar?

Will Win: Toy Story 3
My Vote: How to Train Your Dragon

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

This is a bigger lock than some sort of giant padlock or something.

Will Win/My Vote: The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay

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

INT. BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The King looks aggrieved.

KING: Er.. Ah... (stammers, is handsome)


Will Win: The King’s Speech
My Vote: Inception

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

Like I said, I don't feel good enough about The King's Speech's momentum to call Carter for the upset here. And even though Melissa Leo has lost a lot a buzz, I can't make a case for anyone else winning. Boring, I know...

Will Win: Melissa Leo – The Fighter
My Vote: Hailee Steinfeld- True Grit

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

Bale sealed the deal with a solid speech at the Golden Globes. But I'd have voted for John Hawkes, Ozark badass.

Will Win: Christian Bale – The Fighter
My Vote: John Hawkes- Winter's Bone

Best Actress

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

Natalie Portman picks up an easy win for extending that scene in every movie where she freaks the hell out to feature length. Of the choices available to me, I'd give Lawrence a slight edge over Williams.

Will Win: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
My Vote: Jennifer Lawrence- Winter's Bone

Best Actor

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

Colin Firth again, just had to be his Colin Firthiest. Eisenberg had to be unlikeable but compelling, in a very subtle way.

Will Win: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
My Vote: Jesse Eisenberg- The Social Network

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Ethan and Joel Coen – True Grit
David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hopper – The King’s Speech
David O. Russell – The Fighter

It's been a long while since I've seen such a major award with such an even split among prognosticators. Hooper and Fincher are in a dead heat, mostly due to Fincher's surprising BAFTA win (after Hooper's even more surprising DGA award). I'm officially siding on the depressingly undeserved choice of Hooper, if only because the DGA is nearly never wrong.

In terms of precedent, this battle feels more like Million Dollar Baby vs. The Aviator (where Eastwood and the character-based movie beat the more technically impressive foe in both) than Traffic vs. Gladiator (where period piece Gladiator nabbed Best Picture despite losing Editing and Director to Traffic).

Will Win: Tom Hooper- The King's Speech
My Vote: David Fincher – The Social Network

Best Picture

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

I will say that there's no The Blind Side this year, and that I enjoyed all ten movies when I saw them. The Kids Are All Right is by far the most over-hyped to me (just as much as The King's Speech, but to a lesser degree). The ten nominee format still amounts to an empty gesture for the bottom nominees, but this year it was noticeably harder to say which five would've composed the small field (Though clearly True Grit had the edge over Inception, in the final analysis).

With time, The King's Speech over The Social Network isn't going to seem as bad as it does right now, or as bad as the other famous disputed Best Pictures. But that doesn't mean there's not a part of my brain screaming at me to make this pick differently (it won editing! it could win Director! Screenplay is in the bag! How could a film win those three and not Best Picture?) Quiet, brain! The King's Speech it is.

Will Win: The King’s Speech
My Best Picture Ballot…

10. The Kids Are All Right
9. The King's Speech
8. The Fighter
7. 127 Hours
6. Black Swan
5. Toy Story 3
4. Inception
3. True Grit
2. Winter's Bone
1. The Social Network

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