That Time of Year Again

So it’s Oscar season which means I’m overflowing with opinions about how Sunday night should play out.

Best Supporting Actress

Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams

This is always a fun category, especially since it typically houses the youngest nominees such as Hailee Steinfeld’s nomination for True Grit. A slew of critics are predicting that she’ll go the way of Anna Paquin in The Piano and win the category, but I’M predicting she’ll go the way of the girl who was nominated for Whale Rider a couple years ago. Remember her? Yeah, exactly.
Will win: Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Should win: Amy Adams in The Fighter. Both fighting women were great but Amy Adams was pure genius.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale

Great, great category in which every single person nominated deserves the acknowledgment.
Will win: Christian Bale in The Fighter
Should win: Christian Bale in The Fighter, but really I’d be happy with any of these five guys taking home the award.

Best Original Screenplay

The Fighter

Will win: The King’s Speech
Should win: The Fighter. I loved The Kids are All Right and Inception but I have to go with The Fighter.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Toy Story 3

Will win: The Social Network, it pains me to say.
Should win: I genuinely can’t decide between Toy Story 3 and Winter’s Bone.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky and Natalie Portman

Honestly, this year, I’m displeased. I can’t remember the last time I was this angry at the Academy for snubbing multiple directors deserving of a nomination. I  can’t help but feel like there is still this sentiment that talented female directors are rare, like the female comic. Kathryn Bigelow’s win last year for The Hurt Locker was the FIRST TIME a woman has ever won Best Director, and her nomination was only the fourth in Oscar history. If there was no outstanding work from female directors this year then that would be one thing, but both Winter’s Bone’s Debra Granik and The Kids Are All Right‘s Lisa Cholodenko directed two incredible (female led) films and were completely shut out of a nomination. On top of there being a lack of feminine energy in the nominees, I was frustrated that Christopher Nolan was also completely ignored for Inception which is surprising since aside from Tom Hopper, the rest of the nominees are celebrity directors with a fan following like Nolan. That’s not to say that all of the nominees were undeserving. Black Swan‘s Darren Aronofsky and The Fighter‘s David O. Russell both directed wonderful films and deserve their respective nominations yet I argue that The Social Network‘s David Fincher and True Grit‘s Coen Brothers were overrated at best and both films were not representations of the directors’ best work.
Will win: Tom Hopper for The King’s Speech
Should win: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Best Actor

Colin Firth

I hate that Jesse Eisenberg was even nominated for playing a surlier version of himself.
Will win: Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
Should win:  Colin Firth in The King’s Speech

Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence

This is an interesting category. Natalie Portman won all the pre-Oscar awards and Annette Bening has generated a lot of buzz but I don’t think the category is as predictable as a lot of people think it is.
Will win: I think this category is primed for an upset but I’m still going to go with the safe bet of Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
Should win: Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. I love Natalie, but Jennifer was astounding.

Best Picture

Winter's Bone

This year can only be described as bizarre.  The Social Network and The King’s Speech were my least favorite of all the nominees, by far, and yet they are the two considered to be battling it out for the biggest award of the night. To me it’s shocking how much every other movie nominated deserves the award more than either of these two films. (Okay, maybe True Grit is an exception to that. Still.) I’ve always felt strongly that the best picture winner must be a film that you watch and get the feeling, damn that was perfect. It’s true that not all best picture winners have met this standard. The upset of Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain is the most recent example of this. Yes, The Social Network and The King’s Speech were well-done, at least in some aspects, yet The Social Network is deeply flawed on multiple levels and my biggest issue with The King’s Speech is that it looks great and is well acted but it honestly is so incredibly BORING. No matter how he tried, Tom Hopper could not make me care, at all, that this king stuttered. To me that’s not best picture quality. What The Social Network and The King’s Speech managed to do this year was convince people that if they didn’t like these movies, they just weren’t smart enough. Brilliant move because even though there are those who can see through that marketing tactic, unfortunately it’s not enough for there to be an upset Sunday night.

Will win:  The King’s Speech which I will complain about for years to come.
Should win:  Winter’s Bone, but there are really 7 nominees that I would prefer to the two frontrunners.

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