Here are the Oscar predictions from regular contributor Lee Hazell. Agree or Disagree? Leave any comments at the bottom.
Best Motion Picture of the Year
127 Hours (2010): Christian Colson, Danny Boyle, John Smithson
Black Swan (2010): Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin
The Fighter (2010): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Mark Wahlberg
Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray
The King’s Speech (2010): Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
The Social Network (2010): Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Ceán Chaffin
Toy Story 3 (2010): Darla K. Anderson
True Grit (2010): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin
Winter’s Bone (2010): Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan
What will win: The Kings Speech enters the Oscars with all the momentum and general critical thinking. It has already been deemed that it contains all of the things that the Academy likes (sympathetic lead, World War Two, struggle against adversity, a poor man becoming friends with a royal etc.), while it’s main competition, The Social Network, contains too many things it does not like (an unsympathetic lead, new fangled technology, young people). In fact so black and white is this contest, I’m going to have to say… The Social Network. There has been so much talk of the Academy not being able to understand things like Facebook, so much talk of how out of touch they are with the modern world and how they can only relate to stuffy dramas set before the 60’s that I’m smelling a rebellion. They want to prove all the critics wrong.
What I want to win: Without question my favourite film of these ten has to be Toy Story 3. One of the greatest family films ever made, a film that isn’t afraid to expect adult attention from a young audience, isn’t afraid to challenge their minds and doesn’t think that these elements will alienate or put audiences off. This film was made not to cash in on the memories of much loved characters, but to create new ones for a new generation of adults and kids alike. By awarding this seminal piece of work they will also be honouring the hundreds of workers who make up the greatest film studio to ever have it’s work embrace the silver screen.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem for Biutiful (2010)
Jeff Bridges for True Grit (2010)
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network (2010)
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech (2010)
James Franco for 127 Hours (2010)
Who will win: After last years apology Oscar to Jeff Bridges, it’s hard not see the Academy award Colin Firth his own apology Oscar for missing his performance in A Single Man last year. His was genuinely the best performance of last year and he probably is now.
Who I want to win: This is actually one of the most difficult decisions to make in this years awards. Jessie Eisenburg took an exaggerated version of Mark Zuckerberg in Aaron Sorkin’s script and made him seem real. It’s not like he’s acting at all, it’s hard to see any element of his performance that looks like a performance. James Franco practically pulls you into the screen and makes you go through his torment with him in 127 Hours. When I left the cinema after seeing it I felt just as thirsty as he did in that canyon in the Utah desert. But ultimately, Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, the way his stammer felt so real, how you feel his frustration with him and how his speech at the end (not that one, the one he makes about speaking for the nation) is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard on screen, so I have to support my fellow Brit.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole (2010)
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone (2010)
Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010)
Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine (2010)
Who will win: It’s always the way with this category that the established starlet will usually win over the, perhaps more deserving, up and comer. Natalie Portman’s profile for her performance in Black Swan couldn’t be higher and this time it might actually be the deserving one too. Let’s just hope, given their record of denying actors Oscars based on crap films they’ve starred in, they haven’t seen No Strings Attached.
Who I want to win: While competition is high from Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence, both of whom give fantastic, naturalistic performances, Natalie Portman walks the line of melodrama in Black Swan without ever teetering over the edge. Acting isn’t always about convincing an audience, sometimes its about making them forget they need convincing.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale for The Fighter (2010)
John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone (2010)
Jeremy Renner for The Town (2010)
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech (2010)
Who will win: Christian Bale put himself through hell and back for this performance and this time (that’s right, he does this regularly) I can’t see the academy denying him.
Who I want to win: Geoffrey Rush is great as Lionel Louge but he has his Oscar, so that pips Christian Bale over the post for me. His commitment to make not only his performance seem like that of a drug addict, but his physique as well, produced spectacular results.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for The Fighter (2010)
Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech (2010)
Melissa Leo for The Fighter (2010)
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (2010)
Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (2010)
Who will win: Tough call here. None of the performances particularly leap out. Helena Bonham Carter doesn’t have the support of her fellow Brits this time round, Jacki Weaver may be out because of her nationality (Oscar preferring to promote home grown talent) and Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, being in the same film, might split the vote. So that leaves Hailee Steinfeld. Given an advantage from the get go, being nominated for the supporting category when she is clearly the lead, she has such a broader canvas on which to showcase herself.
Who I want to win: Jacki Weaver is terrifying as the matriarch of the Cody family, an omnipresent force surrounding the film and its events, her presence is felt even when she isn’t on screen.
Best Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (2010)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for True Grit (2010)
David Fincher for The Social Network (2010)
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech (2010)
David O. Russell for The Fighter (2010)
Who will win: As much as the Academy might love The King’s Speech, it isn’t a directors film. It’s an actors film first and foremost, but The Social Network on the other hand… is a screen writers film first and foremost. But that doesn’t stop the direction being some of the best to come out of America this year.
Who I want to win: Well Christopher Nolan and Danny Boyle are out so I’ll have to go for my third choice this year, David Fincher.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Another Year (2010): Mike Leigh
The Fighter (2010): Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington
Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech (2010): David Seidler
Who will win: This award is usually reserved for indie films, if only so that Oscar can turn around and say it doesn’t just look after movies with big budgets. This would mean that it would have to belong to either Mike Leigh’s Another Year, or The Kids Are Alright. And while I would love to sit here and tell you that Mike Leigh has got it in the bag, I think The Kids Are Alright; an indie darling with a progressive message that has been a hit in the States, is the surefire winner for this category.
Who I want to win: Despite the fact that I love an action film having a script strong enough to be nominated for this, I don’t think it’s strong enough to win. The King’s Speech, however is clever, witty, memorable and creates characters from historical figures that endear themselves to you and are hard to shake off.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
127 Hours (2010): Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network (2010): Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 (2010): Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
True Grit (2010): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone (2010): Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
Who will win: Arron Sorkin. The name is practically engraved on the statuette already.
Who I want to win: Arron Sorkin. I love Toy Story’s warmth and humour, and 127 Hours invention, creating engaging conversations for just one man to have by himself. But the best script by far this year has come from the pen of a master dialogue writer, who’s machine gun wit recalls the best of Hollywood’s golden years.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon (2010): Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
The Illusionist (2010): Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3 (2010): Lee Unkrich
What will win: Toy Story 3. No Contest.
What I want to win: Toy Story 3. No Contest.