We are a few hours away from the ceremony so here are my predictions. Follow my webcast live tonight as I embarrass myself having got it all wrong!!
The king's speech
The social network
My prediction: The king's speech
As I was saying in my previous post about the BAFTAS, in the last few years they have been a more reliable indicator of what to expect at the Oscars than the Golden Globes. Saying that, I feel that a strong British bias makes a win for King's speech a lot more likely this side of the pond. The film has been a tremendous and unexpected success and it has almost become a patriotic duty to watch it in Britain. Saying that, The social network was voted best film by the London Critics awards so it could create an upset
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Danny Boyle for 127 hours
David Fincher for The social network
Tom Hooper for The king's speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception
My prediction: David Fincher for The Social Network
This is a lot more open than best film. I cannot understand the momentum gained by Tom Hooper unless for some best direction means pretty costumes, pretty light and letting your actors do what they do best. David Fincher should logically win. I feel he was truly robbed when he missed out for Benjamin Buttons, he is widely accepted as one of the best directors working at the moment, and his direction is what transcends The social network from what I personally find to be rather weak and unoriginal story.
Saying that, Christopher Nolan could also cause an upset (especially considering that the Brits might want to give the nod to one of them!) and I will be rooting for him. His masterful direction and his willingness to take huge risks and embark a blockbuster audience on a risky and more cerebral path really paid off with a huge commercial and critical hit.
Javier Bardem for Biutiful
Jeff Bridges for True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg for The social network
Colin Firth for The King's speech
James Franco for 127 hours
My prediction: Colin Firth
Tonight's dead cert. I am actually going to the bookies after this article and will bet everything I own on this. His performance is by far the best thing in the film, touching, amusing, subtle... He is on a roll after A single man and it is as if we have all rediscovered that he could act and was rather good at it after the horrors of Bridget Jones and Love, Actually.
Annette Bening for The kids are alright
Julianne Moore for The kids are alright
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Noomi Rapace for The girl with the dragon tatoo
Hailee Steinfeld for True grit
My predictions: Natalie Portman in Black Swan
I would love Hailee Steinfeld to win and it's good to see she is nominated as best actress where she belongs, as opposed to best supporting actress at the Oscars, considering the is in every scenes in True grit and completely carries the film. I'll write a review of True grit shortly where I shall praise her performance. Saying that, her part might be too restrained and subtle and no doubt both the Baftas and the Oscars will be more sensitive to the emotional turnmoil and hysterics of Natalie Portman and will most probably want to reward her great career. Annette Bening has a chance at the oscar as a 3rd time loser, but she did win an award for American beauty in these shores and the fact the Julianne Moore is also nominated might split the votes. Nice to see Noomi Rapace being acknowledged also.
Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale for The fighter
Andrew Garfield for The social network
Pete Postlethwaite for The town
Mark Ruffalo for The kids are alright
Geoffrey Rush for The king's speech
My prediction: Geoffrey Rush for The king's speech
The race is more open than for the oscars where Christian Bale is the frontrunner. Despite him being British, not everybody is a fan of him in the UK, with his infamous on-set antics and his rants against the journalists that dared to criticise his performance. Of course, a posthumous award for Pete Postlethwaite would make sense, but his performance has not exactly gained any buzz. I would almost be tempted to pick Andrew Garfield with a great turn and a promising career ahead of him, but I believe Geoffrey Rush will be swept in the King's speech sweepstake. He doesn't do anything we have not seen before in this film, but he does it so well!
Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams for The fighter
Helena Bonham-Carter for The king's speech
Barbara Hershey for Black swan
Lesley Manville for Another year
Miranda Richardson for Made in Dagenham
My prediction: Helena Bonham Carter for The king's speech
Interesting to see Oscar's favorite Melissa Leo missing from this list. Lesley Manville had generated a lot of buzz since Cannes but this was a long time ago, and I personally find her turn a little bit on the overacting side, like so many of Mike Leigh's female characters. While Helena Bonham-Carter does not have any real "Oscar's scenes", her subtle portrayal of a much loved character, the Queen Mum, along with an impressive career behind her, her 3rd nomination should prove the winning one. And we are ALL looking forward to her frock on the red carpet! (mismatched shoes are so Golden globes! What will it be this time?)