Five Best Oscar Predictions for 2011
The 83rd Annual Oscar Awards are Sunday night and people are trying to decide who is going to win the golden trophy. While we don't celebrate the Oscars the same way others do, being a movie buff, I always enjoy making my own predictions for the top categories. Sometimes the Academy Awards throw us a curve ball, but I am pretty accurate over the years. Below are the nominees and my choice for the Oscar winners.
Best Actor In A Supporting Role
This year, there are five actors vying for this award in a variety of different film genres. I have my favorite choices of actor and think he will win. Here are the nominees.
Mark Ruffalo: The Kids Are All Right
Mark Ruffalo plays Paul, the biological father of two teenagers who have been raised by lesbian mothers.
John Hawkes: Winter's Bone
John Hawkes plays Teardrop, the menacing uncle of a young girl who is searching desperately for her missing father.
Jeremy Renner: The Town
As James Coughlin, Jeremy Renner plays a dangerously unbalanced bank robber who takes a teller hostage.
Geoffrey Rush: The King's Speech
Geoffrey Rush portrays Lionel Logue, the eccentric Australian speech therapist who agrees to help the King of England overcome his stammer.
...and my choice for Best Actor in a Supporting Role is...
Christian Bale: The Fighter
Christian Bale plays Dicky Eklund, a former fighter now managing the career of his younger brother, Micky. (My personal favorite)
Best Supporting Actress
This award is given to a woman who is not the lead character in a film, but as a secondary within the film. The nominees for this year include one of my favorite actresses (Carter), but I don't think she will win.
Amy Adams: The Fighter
As Charlene Fleming, Amy Adams plays the determined girlfriend of a boxer whose controlling family is harming his career.
Helena Bonham Carter: The King's Speech
As Queen Elizabeth, Helena Bonham Carter portrays the loyal wife of King George VI who urges her husband to seek help for his paralyzing stammer. (My personal favorite)
Hailee Steinfeld: True Grit
Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross, a tough-minded 14-year-old who hires a U.S Marshal to track down the man who killed her father. This is a long-shot for the win. I don't think she will win, but she has a fighting chance.
Jacki Weaver: Animal Kingdom
As Janine "Smurf" Cody, Jacki Weaver portrays the matriarch of a family of criminals who takes in her orphaned grandson.
...and my choice for Best Actress in a Supporting Role is...
Melissa Leo: The Fighter
As Alice Ward, Melissa Leo plays a selfish and controlling woman who is harming her son's chance to become a successful fighter.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
This award goes to an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. This year, I don't think there is much competition.
Javier Bardem: Biutiful
As Uxbal, Javier Bardem plays a criminal in Barcelona's underworld who must confront the consequences of the life he has chosen.
Jeff Bridges: True Grit
Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, a hard-drinking U.S. Marshal who is hired by a young girl to find her father's killer. I'd like to see a win with Bridges, but I don't think we'll see it with this remake.
Jesse Eisenberg: The Social Network
As Facebook developer Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg plays a young man whose computer expertise far outweighs his social skills. The geek in me would love to see Eisenberg win, but don't count on it.
James Franco: 127 Hours
As Aron Ralston, James Franco portrays a lone hiker who becomes trapped when his arm is pinned by a boulder. Great story of human perseverance, but not Oscar worthy.
...and my choice for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is...
Colin Firth: The King's Speech
Colin Firth plays King George VI, the British monarch who seeks help from a speech therapist for his severe stammer.
Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role
This award goes to an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. I think that this is going to be a real showdown between an accomplished actress (Bening) and the relative newcomer (Portman).
Nicole Kidman: Rabbit Hole
Nicole Kidman plays Becca, a woman who is drifting apart from her husband following the death of their child.
Michelle Williams: Blue Valentine
As Cindy, Michelle Williams plays a young wife and mother whose marriage to a man she once loved deeply is now failing.
Jennifer Lawrence: Winter's Bone
As Ree, Jennifer Lawrence portrays a 17-year-old girl in the rural Ozarks who searches for her missing father after he places the family's home in jeopardy.
Annette Bening: The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening plays Nic, a successful doctor who has raised two children with her female partner and must confront the problems that arise when they seek out their biological father.
...and my choice for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is...
Natalie Portman: Black Swan
As Nina Sayers, Natalie Portman plays a young ballerina whose precarious mental state begins to disintegrate when she is cast in the role of the Swan Queen.
The Academy Award For Best Picture
The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only to vote on the final ballot, but also to nominate. During the annual Academy Awards ceremony, Best Picture is reserved as the final award presented. This year there are ten nominees.
When Nina, a talented young ballerina, is awarded the prized dual role of the White Swan/Black Swan in a production of "Swan Lake," her already fragile mental state begins to deteriorate. Fearing that another dancer's natural affinity for the darker Black Swan character will win her the part, Nina begins a disturbing descent into her own dark side.
Two brothers struggle with personal challenges and the complexity of their own relationship as they pursue a shared dream of greatness in the boxing ring. Up-and-coming fighter Micky Ward is torn between his loyalty to his older brother and manager, Dicky, and his desire to move beyond the chaotic family life that threatens to derail his plans.
Dom Cobb is an expert at a particular type of corporate espionage known as extraction, in which he inserts himself into his targets' dreams, gains their trust, and learns their secrets. One final job may allow him to leave his dangerous profession, but it involves the seemingly impossible task of implanting ideas in his subject rather than extracting them.
The Kids Are All Right
When the teenage children of a lesbian couple seek out their biological father, his growing presence in their lives threatens the family's emotional fabric. For moms Nic and Jules, the change exacerbates existing problems in their relationship, while children Joni and Laser gradually begin to see beyond the appealing surface of their new found parent.
When climber Aron Ralston fails to leave word of his plans as he sets off on a solitary outing, he finds himself without hope of rescue after a fall leaves his arm pinned by a boulder. With only the limited food and resources he has with him, Aron must find a way to survive and to free himself from his deadly trap.
The Social Network
Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg develops a computer program that will eventually become the phenomenally successful social networking site, Facebook. Yet Zuckerberg's lack of social skills in the world outside of the virtual realm in which he excels, leaves him with a trail of broken relationships and questionable ethical choices. This one might actually pull through and win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Toy Story 3
As Andy prepares to leave for college, his toys face an uncertain future now that the little boy who played with them is growing up. Their problems seem to be solved when they are donated to a local day care center, but the reality of their new life proves to be quite different from what they had expected.
When Mattie Ross's father is murdered and his killer, Chaney, seems likely to remain unfound, the determined 14-year-old hires the meanest lawman she can find to pursue him: a hard-drinking U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn. Accompanied by a Texas Ranger with his own agenda, the pair sets off into the Indian territories on Chaney's trail.
With her father absent and her mother suffering from crippling depression, 17-year-old Ree Dolly struggles to provide for her family in the poverty-stricken rural Ozarks. When she learns that her father has disappeared while on bail after offering the family home as collateral, Ree sets out to find him before the court can seize the property.
...and my choice for The Academy Award For Best Picture is...
The King's Speech
Plagued since childhood by a paralyzing stammer, the future King George VI of England has given up hope of finding a cure for his impediment. His concerned wife urges him to seek the help of an iconoclastic Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue, who insists on a level of familiarity with his new patient that the royal prince is loath to permit.
So what are your picks for this year's Academy Awards? Feel free to give us your thoughts and choices. After the Oscars, I'd love to hear your thoughts on who won and did not win.