BEST PICTURE=The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech will easily win here as it is one of the more locked up categories of the night. Some may say that The Social Network has gained momentum in the last week and could upset. However, they have quickly forgotten that last year Avatar had much more momentum going down the stretch (because of the producer email controversy) and still was not able to conjure up a win.
BEST DIRECTOR=Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
This is a 50-50 category where Hooper and David Fincher of The Social Network have equal chances of winning. I am going with Hooper as his film is the Best Picture favorite and he won the most important precursor for this category, the DGA. However, you can just as easily make the case for Fincher winning because tv directors (who will not be voting for the Oscars) won the vote for Hooper at the DGAs and Fincher won the BAFTAS director award. Hooper should have easily won that one and has since caused a minor surge for The Social Network.
BEST LEAD ACTOR=Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
This is the biggest lock of the night. There are no challengers to Firth.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS=Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Maybe the Bening will upset theory is just an idea created by boredness from Oscar bloggers. However, I sensed a Bening upset coming over a month ago when we were still in the thick of the Oscar race and Oscar fatigue did not exist. Bening has been completely charming down the stretch while Portman has been barely noticeable. Sadly, if Bening does win it will be for all the wrong reasons (the campaign and being Hollywood royalty rather than for the best performance) and let’s not kid ourselves that is the truth of it.
Update: I am now going with Natalie Portman. After seeing her win at the Independent Spirit Awards I just cannot see her losing the Oscar (even though these awards have nothing to do with eachother). It's things like this that can change perception of such a close race.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR=Christian Bale, The Fighter
Bale has won all of the precursors except for the BAFTA (which went to Geoffrey Rush). Geoffrey Rush could still upset but it would only happen in a The King’s Speech sweep. Luckily, if that were to happen we would figure out pretty early (the first two categories are Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography). If The King’s Speech wins both of those Rush will be pulling off an upset later in the night. If The King’s Speech loses one or both Bale will win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS=Melissa Leo, The Fighter
This is a three-way race. Hailee Steinfeld was seen as a huge contender for the win from the beginning. Her problem was getting nominated first (which she did). However, will the academy really give an Oscar this year to a 14 year old (with overdue veterans in her category)? I don’t think so. The next contender is Helena Bonham Carter (one of the overdue veterans). Her big win on the precursor circuit was the BAFTA award. However, it appears other Oscar bloggers are putting too much stock into the BAFTA awards for their predictions. There is some overlap between the BAFTAS and Oscars in voters but not enough to change the tide in 3 of the major categories (Director, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). So I don’t think she wins here either. That leaves Melissa Leo for the win. Leo won all of the precursor awards (with the exception of the BAFTA which she wasn’t even nominated for). Then her lead derailed when she started her own personal campaign. There have been mixed reports if the personal campaign even got to Oscar voters so, therefore, I don’t think it has enough of an effect to prevent her from winning. Then again there is always the chance these three split the vote and Jacki Weaver wins.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY=The Social Network
This is another lock even though at one point this category looked ripe for an upset (It was in this category last year that the upset of the ceremony occurred when Precious’ screenplay beat the runaway frontrunner Up in the Air). In the past few weeks, however, The Social Network has claimed back enough momentum to stop an upset here.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY=The King’s Speech
David Seidler’s story (He like the main character in his script was a stutterer) is just the type of thing Oscar voters have dreams of voting for. It would be nice if Christopher Nolan would win here but it is not happening.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM=In a Better World
This category never goes for the most mainstream nominee (so Biutiful is out). I am going for the Golden Globe winner here.
BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY=Inside Job
Exit Through the Gift Shop has gained a lot of publicity during the Oscar voting period as officials debate whether Banksy should be allowed to attend the ceremony, but I think Inside Job is too far up the Oscar voters alley for them not to go for it.
BEST ANIMATED FILM=Toy Story 3
How to Train Your Dragon has done better on the precursor circuit but Toy Story 3 is so ingrained into Pixar that the Oscars would not allow the company’s flagship franchise to end without a single Oscar.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT=The Confession
I have not seen the frontrunner in this category (Na Wewe) but The Confession is so far into the Oscar’s cup of tea that I don’t see how they don’t go for it.
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY=Warriors of Quigang
I have not seen any of the contenders in this category but before Warriors of Quigang was even nominated I thought it would win because of its subject matter (environmental change in China).
BEST ANIMATED SHORT=Day & Night
This is a race between Day & Night and The Gruffalo. Anyone who is predicting anything else is pulling at straws. I am going with the idea that Pixar is overdue in this category (The studio hasn’t won here in 10 years).
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE=The King’s Speech
This category appears to be wide open to me. I just can’t picture The King’s Speech winning here. Desplat’s score was not memorable at all. However, I also cannot picture The Social Network’s score (the presumed runner up) winning. It was a score that was great on its own but did not fit the film. Then we get to the most deserving score, Inception, but I cannot see it beating the first two. So I guess I am sticking with The King’s Speech.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG=”We Belong Together”, Toy Story 3
This is the most wide open category of the year. Any of the 4 nominees can win. I am going with the logic that Best Picture nominees usually win the tech categories. That whittles it down to “We Belong Together” and “If I Rise” from 127 Hours. A.R. Rahman won just 2 years ago so I am going with Randy Newman’s song from Toy Story 3.
BEST FILM EDITING=The Social Network
The Social Network is the favorite here but if The King’s Speech is to win Best Picture it has to win here or in directing. These 2 categories will definitely be split between these 2 films. The question is which film is winning what. I am sticking with the favorite here (and as mentioned above Hooper wins director).
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY=True Grit
Roger Deakins is overdue (plain and simple). Some people have brought up the fact that since everyone votes on cinematography (and not just cinematographers) being overdue will not play a factor. However, these people fail to remember that the Academy loves True Grit (It got 10 nominations). So this is happening.
BEST ART DIRECTION=The King’s Speech
Many people have been saying this race is open (They say Inception and Alice in Wonderland can challenge). They, unfortunately, are using the counter logic of the previous category. Everyone votes on art direction so they will pick the best film (in their minds at least).
BEST COSTUME DESIGN=The King’s Speech
Same reasoning as Best Art Direction.
BEST MAKEUP=The Wolfman
This is the second most open category of the night. All 3 films can win so I am going to go with the film with the most makeup.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS=Inception
This is a lock.
BEST SOUND MIXING=Inception
Inception is the frontrunner but True Grit and The Social Network are more loved within the Academy. They can definitely pull of an upset here. And if The King’s Speech wins (unlikely but still possible), the sweep is coming.
BEST SOUND EDITING=Inception
This is a lock.