It’s time for the Oscars, the Superbowl for women and gay people. My picks:
Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, Inception, True Grit, 127 Hours, Winter’s Bone, The King’s Speech, The Kids Are All Right
My pick: The Social Network
My preference: The Social Network
I’m probably dead-wrong here, but I’ll pick the dark horse over The King’s Speech, which has picked up all sorts of momentum the last month or so. I’m gonna take a chance and say Speech, while certainly excellent, is a little too well-behaved for American sensibilities.
Best Director: David Fincher (Social Network), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David O. Russell (The Fighter)
My pick: David Fincher
My preference: David Fincher
A few prognosticators have decided to split their picks between Best Picture and Director, giving the former to Speech and the latter to Fincher, even though the vast majority of Picture winners claim the directing prize as well. So this should be a decently safe pick.
Best Actor: Colin Firth, James Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Bridges, Javier Bardem
My pick: Colin Firth
My preference: Colin Firth
It will be a monumental upset if anyone but Firth wins. Franco is getting some late buzz, but no way–he’s two years removed from playing a dumbass drug dealer in Pineapple Express, and who knows how winning an Oscar in the middle of his hosting duties will affect the show?
Best Actress: Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams
My pick: Portman
My preference: Um-not sure
The only best picture nomineee I haven’t see this year is Black Swan. But opinion holds that this race is between Portman and Bening, and I didn’t think Bening was especially great in Kids Are All Right.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, Jonathan Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Geoffrey Rush
My pick: Christian Bale
My preference: Christian Bale
This looks like a two-man race too, between Bale and Rush. Hmm–again, not blown out of the water by either of them. I’ll go with Bale, who looked like he was trying harder. At this point I feel like Geoffrey Rush could deliver smarmy one-liners in his sleep.
Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Jacki Weaver, Hailee Stanfield
My pick: Melissa Leo
My preference: Melissa Leo
I never saw Weaver’s Animal Kingdom, because it’s Australian and like any American I ignore these kinds of things unless a bunch of other Americans tell me I have to pay attention. This appears to be a two-person race again, between Stanfield (True Grit) and Leo (The Fighter), although it’s a little bit more open than the other acting races. Leo actually took out some personal ads campaigning for herself in the Hollywood trades, which I guess is considered gauche. People say Leo might split votes with co-star Adams, but I doubt anyone actually voted for Adams, whose best work to date involves complete innocents, not the world-weary bartender she plays in Fighter. I’ll go with Leo for having the balls to self-promote, which, come on–isn’t that the rule in L.A., anyways?
Best Adapted Screenplay:
My pick: Aaron Sorkin, Social Network
My preference: Aaron Sorkin, Social Network
Best Original Screenplay:
My pick: David Seidler, The King’s Speech
My preference: Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right