I find the debate leading up to and after the awards to be fun. But with that being said, I realize that all this debate means nothing. It's all conjecture. But I don't care, here is my opinions on who will win the awards. My next post will be a wrap up about how right they got it.
Best Picture: Social Network
This is really the movie of a generation. It defines the new social media age through the perspective of the man that created it. To be honest, I'm not sure if it will win. I can see people looking back at Social Network's lost the same way they look at Goodfellas' loss to Dancing With Wolves. Going by past Academy action, The Kings Speech will probably win. But hopefully they will decide to break from their own cliche and pick a relevant movie for once instead of a retread to the past.
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky
To be honest I'd be fine with anybody winning this category. I love all the directors, yes even David O. Russel for all his past douche-baggery. I was probably one of the few that enjoyed I Heart Huckabees. The Coens already won their Oscar and Fincher, while a talent director, didn't leave his mark as much on Social Network. Black Swan was Aronofsky's baby and there is no way it would of been made the way it was without him at the helm. With Christopher Nolan getting snubbed it leaves only Aronofsky.
Best Actor: Colin Firth
This one comes down to politics. Colin Firth has been nominated before, plays a royal and his character overcomes an impediment. That, to be, is an Academy Award trifecta. Jeff Bridges already won his and Jesse Eisenberg is too young. Young actors only win supporting role Oscars and only when they are extra precocious (Tatum O'Neal and Anna Paquin). James Franco plays the hell out of his role in 127 Hours but, let's look at the past. In 2001 Tom Hanks lost the best actor nomination for Castaway, his movie about a lone survivor. Am I mad that Hanks lost to Russel Crowe in Gladiator? Hell no. But the point remains that Franco has the deck stacked against him. Plus he is young, he has plenty of movies left in him.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman
Jennifer Lawrence just came onto the scene and Nicole Kidman didn't do anything spectacular. Annette Benning shouldn't get the nomination even because she plays the same ice-queen that she plays in every other movie. The only difference this time is that she happens to be a lesbian. These kind of nominations annoy me because I feel like it's a step back. Then again maybe I'm still mad about Sean Penn beating out Mickey Rourke in 2008. No, this year comes down to Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman. And since Portman made the greater transition in her character, I feel she will be the winner. Portman has been in the business since her pre-teens and here she really shows how much she has to offer.
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush
I know Geoffrey Rush already won for Shine in 1996 but I am a Rush fan so I don't care. Also, Kings Speech is really an actor's film when you get down to it, so I don't see why it shouldn't win the actor awards. John Hawkes is just a token indie nominee. While I do think that Jeremy Renner is a phenomenal actor, I don't think this role is going to win him the statue. His character in The Town is the same character we've seen in every heist movie ever made. Yes he makes it his own but it's still not enough. And Christian Bale goes to such drastic extremes in every role he's ever been in that it's just not surprising anymore. And as for Mark Ruffalo, he seems to everyman for me. Maybe it's the chest hair but I don't know about him winning.
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo is the only one that stands out. The Academy seems to have a thing for bulldog matriarchs anyway.
Best Writing - Original Screenplay: Inception
Inception is probably going to win all the technical awards but it is my hope of hopes that it wins this award. Inception took a high-concept gimmick (I mean that the best way possible) and crafted a masterful story around it. All the other films seem pedestrian to that. If Inception doesn't win then I can see The Fighter winning (especially with Kings Speech maybe winning Best Picture). The Oscars love underdog boxing flicks.
Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay: 127 Hours
Toy Story 3 is winning Best Animated so I don't count it and Social Network has enough controversy surrounding its veracity that I don't see it winning. No, 127 Hours is my pick. The filmmakers took an overblown Reader's Digest story and turned into a harrowing piece of cinema. Just the title alone shows how much an improvement the film is over the book. 127 Hours is a much better title than Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I'm not knocking Aron Ralston, he is much braver than I am. I'm just saying that Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy elevated the work from an article in People Magazine and that deserves recognition.
So there are my picks. Do I think I'm going to be right? No. But again it's the conjecture and debate that I love about award shows. Later in the week I'll probably follow up on the Oscar wrap up. Agree or disagree? Be sure to let me know.