2011 Oscars Challenge: 83rd Academy Awards Predictions

Another Oscar Challenge has come and gone and with that come my 2010 Oscar Predictions. With a nicer blog and more focus this year, I was able to just about see all 41 films (minus the ones that were no where to be found on DVD, in theaters around my area, or streaming on the internet). Though most people have already made their Oscar predictions, I like to wait until I have seen everything to make mine. Some of these are wishful thinking and what I want to win over what I have heard or who is due for a win this year. I also do not want to be completely wrong, so consider this a blend between personal hopes and realistic expectations. I will post again tomorrow to see how I did.

[Best Picture]

BETWEEN: “The King’s Speech” & “The Social Network”
WILL WIN: “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
SHOULD WIN: “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
>>>Coming in with 12 nominations, “The King’s Speech” has to be a favorite. The film has won all the right awards and it is pretty safe to say I can silence everyone who told me “The Social Network” was going to win. We will find out once one or the other starts winning awards on Oscar night. “Inception” was easily my favorite film of the year, but had no real hope of it actually winning.

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[Actor in a Leading Role]

BETWEEN: Colin Firth & Jesse Eisenberg
WILL WIN: Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
SHOULD WIN: Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
>>>Hardly any other actor deserves this award this year. Jeff Bridges damn well would have deserved it but playing an award winning John Wayne role is no way to get it apparently. With it coming down to Firth and Eisenberg, Firth has it in the bag. I have even read that a betting website has already started paying out for the Firth win. Crazy!

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[Actor in a Supporting Role]

BETWEEN: Christian Bale & Geoffrey Rush
WILL WIN: Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
SHOULD WIN: Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
>>>I honestly feel Bale had the most memorable performance. This will be close, but with Rush’s previous win, it leaves Bale pretty wide open for it. He deserves it.

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[Actress in a Leading Role]

BETWEEN: Natalie Portman & Annette Bening
WILL WIN: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
SHOULD WIN: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
>>>Just hand the award to Portman already, because there is no doubt that she will win this one. Bening’s performance just does not compare to Portman’s in “Black Swan” and I think the Academy will agree.

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[Actress in a Supporting Role]

BETWEEN: Hailee Steinfeld & Melissa Leo
WILL WIN: Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
SHOULD WIN: Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
>>>Another gut feeling, Hailee is so young and so deserves this honor. I also have this gut feeling that Melissa Leo and Amy Adams cancel each out on the vote. The younger Academy members will vote for Adams, the older members for Leo, and Steinfeld will swoop in and take it. I will be a little disappointed if Melissa Leo wins this instead of Hailee.

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[Animated Feature Film]

BETWEEN: “Toy Story 3” & “How to Train Your Dragon”
WILL WIN: “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
SHOULD WIN: “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
>>>Hard to beat this film. It is possible to beat it, but highly unlikely. Buzz and Woody are my odds on favorite to win.

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[Art Direction]

BETWEEN: “Alice In Wonderland” & “The King’s Speech”
WILL WIN: “The King’s Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
SHOULD WIN: “Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
>>>If “King’s Speech” is going to win Best Picture, it will probably take a lot of the smaller awards it is up for. Though I was not a huge fan of “Alice in Wonderland” overall, I did enjoy the art designs. I would love to see it win.

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[Cinematography]

BETWEEN: “True Grit” & “The King’s Speech”
WILL WIN: “True Grit” Roger Deakins
SHOULD WIN: “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
>>>I put “True Grit” here because I have been hearing non-stop rumors that Roger Deakins is due for the award. Not sure what I think about it, but kudos if he does. Though it does not make the final two in my expectations, in my personal opinion, “Black Swan” has the most memorable cinematography and if the Academy was based around me, I would give it to Matthew Libatique. It’s a ballet! That’s hard to capture as good as it was.

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[Costume Design]

BETWEEN: “Alice in Wonderland” & “The King’s Speech”
WILL WIN: “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
SHOULD WIN: “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
>>>This is probably wishful thinking, but if “King’s Speech” takes Art Direction, I feel at least the Academy will give “Alice” costumes. I would completely agree with this. “Alice” definitely has the stronger costumes and the Academy tends to enjoy Burton-esc costumes.

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[Directing]

BETWEEN: David Fincher & Tom Hooper
WILL WIN: “The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
SHOULD WIN: “The Social Network” David Fincher
>>>As I am thinking “King’s Speech” will win the Best Picture, Tom Hooper is a lock for this win. He also came out of the DGA as their pick and they are known for picking the winner very often. The personal pick of Fincher is more to see him finally receive an Oscar, and less so for having the best film this year. It is risky to split the Best Picture and Director win, so if I go with “King’s Speech” as the winner, Hooper’s the winner.

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[Documentary (Feature)]

BETWEEN: “Restrepo” & “Inside Job”
WILL WIN: “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
SHOULD WIN: “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
>>>”Inside Job” is the more informative, clarifying documentary that normally wins. It compares to last year’s “Food Inc.” that was nicely crafted and informative all at the same time. The only reason it didn’t win was because of the heart that “The Cove” carried in the same exact package. “Restrepo”, to me, was the more original documentary and really brought a new meaning to the term “observational documentary”. I really hope “Restrepo” wins but I will be putting my money on “Inside Job”.

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[Documentary (Short Subject)]

BETWEEN: “Sun Come Up” & “Warriors of Qjugang”
WILL WIN: “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
SHOULD WIN: “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
>>>Just a bold faced guess on this one. I saw a small fragment of a clip from “Sun Come Up’ and the children running down the dirt road really left an impression with me more so than the rest of the fragmented clips. “Poster Girl” stuck out a little too, but the “Warriors” appears prominent as well. Let’s just put our eggs in the “Sun Come Up” basket and see what we get.

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[Film Editing]

BETWEEN: “The Social Network” & “Black Swan”
WILL WIN: “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
SHOULD WIN: “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
>>>These were the only two films that really felt like editing could have been a challenge. To me, by far, “The Social Network” takes this award. The constant cutting and segue were masterfully handled and the one shining light of the film. “Black Swan” had the psychological thriller editing happening and though it will not win, it will be a nice runner-up.

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[Foreign Language Film]

BETWEEN: “Biutiful” & “In a Better World”
WILL WIN: “Biutiful” Mexico
SHOULD WIN: “Biutiful” Mexico
>>>All bets are on “Biutiful” for this guy. For one, it is one of the only two foreign films that I got to view this year, but if Javier Bardem is being considered for the Best Leading Actor category, the film has to be noteworthy. The only reason I put “In A Better World” in runner-up spot is due to it winning the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. I still feel “Biutiful” is the better film and would love to see it win. If “Dogtooth” wins, I will be ecstatic!

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[Makeup]

BETWEEN: “The Wolfman” & “Barney’s Version”
WILL WIN: “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
SHOULD WIN: “Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot
>>>Rick Baker. Enough said. Everyone feels as though it is his turn this year and quantity over quality usually surfaces in this category. I would much rather see “Barney’s Version” win just so I do not have to call the horrible “The Wolfman” an Academy Award winning film.

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[Music (Original Score)]

BETWEEN: “The Social Network” & “Inception”
WILL WIN: “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
SHOULD WIN: “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
>>>Would I like to see “Inception” and Hans Zimmer win this award? Yes! Will they? Probably not. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are more or less being praised for their contribution to the film this year. Though I partially agree, their score is unlike anything else out there today, “Inception” remained the more impressive display of orchestra and intense strings.

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[Music (Original Song)]

BETWEEN: “Toy Story 3” & “Country Strong”
WILL WIN: “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
SHOULD WIN: “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
>>>I have a gut feeling “Toy Story 3” takes this just due to Randy Newman and the popular franchise. However, if we are going for strictly the most well written and fitting piece, “Country Strong” actually supplies the best Original Song contrary to how I thought I would feel.

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[Short Film (Animated)]

BETWEEN: “Let’s Pollute” & “Day & Night”
WILL WIN: “Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
SHOULD WIN: “Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
>>>Again, having only seen one of these, “Day & Night” makes the final cut just because it is Pixar and a wider audience has had a chance to see it and enjoy it. However, “Let’s Pollute” contains a stronger social message and handles it with a unique medium of animation and expresses a distinct sense of humor that I really enjoyed.

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[Short Film (Live Action)]

BETWEEN: “Na Wewe” & “The Confession”
WILL WIN: “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
SHOULD WIN: “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
>>>Looking at the trailers for these films, these are the two that looked to be the highest quality, cinematography-wise and acting-wise. I choose “Na Wewe” more so because of the strong subject matter and relevancy to current culture.

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[Sound Editing]

BETWEEN: “Inception” & “Tron: Legacy”
WILL WIN: “Inception” Richard King
SHOULD WIN: “Inception” Richard King
>>>”Inception” better rack up awards somehow and the sound categories are its best bet.

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[Sound Mixing]

BETWEEN: “Inception” & “The King’s Speech”
WILL WIN: “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
SHOULD WIN: “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
>>>I feel as though films that show up in both sound categories usually end up winning both categories, but I have absolutely no statistics to back that up.

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[Visual Effects]

BETWEEN: “Inception” & “Alice In Wonderland”
WILL WIN: “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
SHOULD WIN: “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
>>>”Inception” damn well better win this category. It is everything a Best Visual Effects winner should be. None of the other films in this category are even on the same level as this film. If anything else wins, I quit.

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[Writing (Adapted Screenplay)]

BETWEEN: “The Social Network” & “True Grit”
WILL WIN: “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
SHOULD WIN: “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
>>>Again, Aaron Sorkin is the odds-on favorite, and I actually agree. “The Social Network” is an extremely well written film for both intellectuals and the average viewer. No a huge fan of the film as a whole, but I have to give props where props are due.

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[Writing (Original Screenplay)]

BETWEEN: “Inception” & “The King’s Speech”
WILL WIN: “The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler
SHOULD WIN: “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
>>>In order to take Best Picture, “King’s Speech” has to win in all the right areas, and I believe it will take screenplay with that. Do I agree with that? Absolutely not. “Inception” is a gold mine of a screenplay and Christopher Nolan is a borderline genius. I am going to hate every ounce of having to vote for “King’s Speech” instead of “Inception” come prediction time.

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