Most years my Oscar predictions are pretty accurate, but this year things could get ugly. It seems the more attention I pay the awards season, the more clouded and confused my mind becomes to the possible outcomes. It’s easy to start trying to get into the heads of the voters, consider the strengths of the campaigns and the effect that the press and bloggers have. The King’s Speech is the frontrunner, but there’s been a backlash from The Social Network crowd that could skew things a bit. One thing I’ve learned in the years that I’ve been doing this is to not think too much about it. Occam’s Razor. My mantra: “keep it simple.”
So, keeping it simple, here are my predictions for the 83rd annual Academy Awards!
I have never seen such a blatant turn-around as I’ve seen this awards season. The precursor awards that took place in late 2010 and early 2011 were completely dominated by The Social Network. As soon as the guilds began in early January, The King’s Speech took over and pwned everything in sight except for the WGA (which it wasn’t eligible for) and ACE. 2010 will be a year that we will look back on in wonder. This year also has the potential to go against the odds. It will be unprecedented if The King’s Speech doesn’t win Best Picture after winning PGA, DGA and SAG ensemble. The Social Network took the ACE Eddie and WGA. But we’re keeping it simple and The King’s Speech is full steam ahead.
Prediction: The King’s Speech
For the last couple of months I’ve been itching to predict a split between the Best Picture and Best Director winner, something that’s only happened 14 times in the last 70 years. That’s an 80% match rate between Best Picture and Best Director and it gives a little insight into the minds of the Academy voters. Usually for them, whoever makes the Best Film is the Best Director. However, sometimes the Academy uses the Best Director category to award that other film that they want to recognize as great (or perhaps the best), but just not their favorite. It’s nearly impossible to predict (Roger Ebert did it in 2005 when he predicted Crash to win Picture and Ang Lee Director). I was bound to do it this year, but the last few weeks I have seen many of the pundits and critics in unison predict The King’s Speech to win Best Picture and David Fincher to win Best Director. I don’t see that many people accurately predicting something so rare…that is assuming that The King’s Speech wins Best Picture. Hooper is very young and Fincher’s been around, which pushes me towards Fincher. However, Tom Hooper won the DGA, which matches Best Director 90% of the time. Torn, but keeping it simple. Is this considered an upset?
Prediction: The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
This one is in the bag. He’s due and plus he’s earned it. Can’t not keep it simple.
Prediction: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Natalie Portman earned it. She transformed and was in nearly every scene. Annette Bening is nominated for a slightly above average supporting performance, but she’s due. The scales were heavy in Portman’s favor, but recent articles in the blogosphere regarding Bening’s potential upset (in an attempt to create a self-fulfilling prophecy) have threatened that. No looking back now.
Prediction: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Christian Bale deserves this award. His performance was the best overall this year. Geoffrey Rush’s performance was completely different and almost as good. It was more emotional than Bale’s by far, but just not as demanding. If we see a King’s Speech sweep then maybe Rush could win, but Bale has also dominated the awards so far.
Prediction: Christian Bale – The Fighter
Melissa Leo has been the clear frontrunner up until everyone saw that Hailee Steinfeld would be put into the supporting category. Since then, Leo has still had the lead, but with Steinfeld in the background. However, Leo’s personal FYC ads released earlier this month seem to have caused a few Academy members to change their vote. This coupled with the fact that Amy Adams could take votes away from Leo could create a potential upset for Hailee Steinfeld. That’s a lot of if’s and now is not the time to get fancy.
Prediction: Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Aaron Sorkin has not lost a single Adapted Screenplay award all year for The Social Network. Up in the Air was almost as sure a thing last year, but lost to Precious. Still, Sorkin for Adapted Screenplay has been the one sure thing all awards season.
Prediction: Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network
The King’s Speech and Inception are the two with real potential here. The King’s Speech, being the favorite to win Best Picture, should win this one.
Prediction: David Seidler – The King’s Speech
How To Train Your Dragon has won several awards for score. Hans Zimmer’s score in Inception was completely refreshing, blatantly present and furthered the effectiveness of the film. The Social Network was subtle and ominous and also existed to benefit its film. The King’s Speech is just as subtle yet Alexandre Desplat is everywhere these days and has 3 previous nominations, but has never won.
Prediction: Alexandre Desplat – The King’s Speech
Inception won the Cinematography Guild award, which according to odds means it probably won’t win the Oscar. Roger Deakins has been nominated tons of times and never won. Deakins is the favorite here and they could award him just because he’s due even if True Grit is nowhere near his best work.
Prediction: Wally Pfister – Inception
If it weren’t snubbed I would be easily and without reservation putting Inception down for the obvious winner. The King’s Speech has a good shot because it’s the favorite for Best Picture, but I’m going to have to go with the Social Network because it was just put together so well and the fact that it won the ACE Eddie award. Plus, the Academy can’t shut this film out. It has to win something. (Assuming The King’s Speech takes home Picture & Director.
Prediction: The Social Network
A high percentage of films nominated for Visual Effects are also nominated for Sound Editing and Mixing, especially if those films are also nominated for Best Picture. Those films usually win, too.
See Sound Editing.
Alice in Wonderland has a good shot at this and I could see Inception taking this one home as well. If the voters are going with The King’s Speech for Best Picture and they decide vote TKS all the way down the ballot, then The King’s Speech winning Art Direction is a real possibility. Inception could definitely happen, though. Tough one.
Prediction: The King’s Speech
Alice in Wonderland is the favorite here. As mentioned above, if voters go with The King’s Speech down the ballot then it could win here as well. Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy film, which the Academy rarely picks. The King’s Speech is a period film, which the Academy almost always picks. Then again, it’s not common that the Costume Design matches Best Picture. Another tough one.
Prediction: The King’s Speech
I have no idea who will win this inconsistent category. Where’s Black Swan?
Prediction: The Wolfman
Films that are nominated for Visual Effects and Best Picture usually win Visual Effects, especially if it’s also nominated for the Sound categories.
There is an anti-Pixar movement growing out there somewhere. I just know it. Toy Story 3 was been the frontrunner all year with moments of How To Train Your Dragon threatening to gain ground. It’s not happening this year. Toy Story 3 has the emotion and it really is the better film.
Prediction: Toy Story 3
This is such a tough category to pick. It seems like Documentaries exist to fill the public in on injustice or to educate us on little known oddities. One would think that this type of film would win. If that were the case I would have to go with Inside Job. However, if the Academy decides to get lighthearted on us, then Exit Through the Gift Shop has a chance. It’s also rare to see a non-biased war documentary, like Restrepo.
Prediction: Inside Job
The Academy loves them some Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu especially when he comes with Javier Bardem in a challenging leading role, so I could see Biutiful winning. This category is probably the most inconsistent of them all so I have absolutely no idea. I can’t see Dogtooth winning and I haven’t seen the others.
Who cares? I believe this category exists solely to send the Oscar ceremony soaring over the 3 hour mark.
Prediction: Tangled or 127 Hours or whatever.