OSCARS 2011: Predictions for top categories

Tomorrow morning comes a moment that film connoisseurs anticipate every year: the announcement of Academy Award nominees. For many, predicting the nominees of the most prestigious awards show in the entertainment industry is just as much of a thrill, if not more than predicting the actual winners. Since the Academy widened the field of Best Picture nominees from five to ten last year, it only seems easier to name ten films right off the bat. But last year saw a couple of surprises, such as the small sci-fi thriller District 9 and the lukewarmly-received The Blind Side sneaking into the race.

The races for lead and supporting actors and actresses also seem to be more uncertain than ever as outstanding ensembles in 2010 film made for many outstanding individual performances: Will the Academy reach a split decision and only make room for one Supporting Actress from The Fighter: Melissa Leo or Amy Adams? Can both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore share the spotlight in the Best Actress category for The Kids Are All Right? And will the Academy allow 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld a step up from Supporting Actress to Leading Actress as the lone female in True Grit?

Then there’s the Director debate: Will Academy favorites the Coen Brothers and Danny Boyle receive a better reward after being snubbed at the Directors Guild Awards and land a nomination tomorrow for True Grit or 127 Hours, respectively? Will we hear a repeat all around the Internet of words similar to “It’s like The Dark Knight all over again” if Christopher Nolan doesn’t get director recognition for Inception?

I am no expert at this—admittedly, this is my first time getting very involved in awards season, and I haven’t even seen all the contenders yet—but I will play along: Here, I present my predictions for the more major Oscar categories (Best Picture, Leading/Supporting Actor and Actress, Director, and Adapted/Original Screenplay), based on my personal gut feelings, the wins and nominations of contenders by guilds and critics’ groups, and insight from fellow movie lovers all around the Web. I especially thank Sasha Stone from Awards Daily and Dave Karger from EW for being two of my most beloved and influential experts thus far—although I am always not completely in agreement with them.

The Oscar nominations will be announced LIVE at Oscar.go.com tomorrow morning at 8:30AM ET/5:30AM PT. I will be posting the nominees here and Tweeting (@kmdatangel) by the minute. As always, I encourage you to share your predictions and healthy debate. Looking forward to finding out who gets in!

127 Hours
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Alternates: The Town; Winter’s Bone

Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine
Alternates: Javier Bardem – Biutiful; Robert Duvall – Get Low; Aaron Eckhart – Rabbit Hole;  Mark Wahlberg – The Fighter

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine
Alternates: Julianne Moore – The Kids Are All Right; Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit (if she doesn’t land in the Best Supporting Actress category)

Christian Bale – The Fighter
Andrew Garfield – The Social Network
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
Alternates: Michael Douglas – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Armie Hammer – The Social Network; Pete Postlethwaite – The Town; Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom
Alternates: Barbara Hershey – Black Swan; Mila Kunis – Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit
David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
David O. Russell – The Fighter
Alternates: Danny Boyle, 127 Hours; Christopher Nolan, Inception

Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy – 127 Hours
Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network
Michael Arndt – Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini – Winter’s Bone
Alternates: Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, and Aaron Stockard – The Town; John Requa and Glenn Ficarra – I Love You Phillip Morris

Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin – Black Swan
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson – The Fighter
Christopher Nolan – Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg – The Kids Are All Right
David Seidler – The King’s Speech
Alternates: Nicole Holofcener – Please Give; Mike Leigh – Another Year

2 thoughts on “OSCARS 2011: Predictions for top categories

  1. Pingback: OSCARS 2011: The part where Karen tries to channel disappointment and surprise into words—and also gloats « Karen On…

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