Oscars 2011: Best Picture and Predictions List

Well, the moment some of you have been waiting for, my Best Picture prediction. But rather than give it to you plain and simple, I will explain to you how you can impress your present company during the ceremony. There should be a few telltale signs of how the big categories will turn out.

I have provided in this post my analysis of the big enchilada, but also linked to my reviews of each of the 10 films in addition to reminding you my Oscar picks in all previous categories. But more importantly than what I think of the ceremony, you enjoy it! I’ll be sure to provide some analysis and I plan to be on Twitter during the big show to drop you my insights, so follow me if you don’t already.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Prediction: The King’s Speech

When I listed my Top 10 Films of the Year, I made it very clear who my favorite was, even though at that point I still hadn’t seen “The King’s Speech.” I think now I’d put “King’s Speech” either fourth or fifth on the list. It’s a terrific film, clean-cut with a golden message and a top-notch cast. But if I were a voting Academy member, I would probably have cast a vote for either “The Social Network” or “Black Swan.” The latter is my top choice and the former would be my vote if I felt it would knock “King’s Speech” off the pedestal.

You can see my percentage breakdown above, which I labored over quite a bit. For the films getting below 5% of the votes (“127 Hours,” “Winter’s Bone” and “The Kids Are All Right”), the numbers are probably a little high, I just didn’t want to look geeky by putting decimals in that list. “Winter’s Bone,” for example, has little to no exposure. I can’t imagine more than a handful of Academy members will even consider voting for it this quite and brooding drama.

“The Kids Are All Right” scored a writing nomination in addition to a couple actor nods. The profile on it is significantly higher as a result so I see a big divide between “Bone” and that film. I put it on the same level as “127 Hours.” Danny Boyle’s surely got some big fans out there and Franco’s performance also elevates the profile, so I gave it a slightly percent edge over “Kids.” No question, however, that those are the bottom-of-the-pack films.

Still below 10% I grouped “Inception,” “Toy Story 3” and “True Grit.” These are the “universally popular films that will split votes.” Each of these films had a huge appeal and made more money than its fellow nominees. I think they’ll all get a good amount of love. Combined I’ve given them 22% of the votes which seems fair given that many members probably feel incline to choose one of the press-labeled “contenders” instead of their personal favorites. I’ve given “True Grit” a slight edge and perhaps I should have given it more. With 10 nominations, it probably deserves 10 percent of the votes and I think it would’ve made a Best Picture nomination in the original five-nominee format.

That 10 percent or more category, a step below the two heavyweights, is “The Fighter” and “Black Swan.” I see “Fighter” as this year’s acting powerhouse film and “Black Swan” as the artsier nominee. I think I’m not alone in thinking “Swan” was the most beautiful and enrapturing of the nominees, so I’ve placed it as third on the list. Some people will weigh acting more into the decision and lean toward “The Fighter,” which is favored for two acting wins.

That brings us to the title match. I have an edge of a few percentage points going to “The King’s Speech.” With the most nominations and an impressive charge to the top during the month of January, it’s not hard to predict the Academy showering this film with love from technical awards all the way to the top. The Academy hasn’t been able to embrace a phenomenal dead monarch film since “The Queen” and it would make all too much sense to see the film clean house.

Here’s my thought process. In all categories, these two films face off six times: Sound Mixing, Original Score, Editing, Cinematography, Director and Picture. The first likely scenario is that “The King’s Speech” wins most of those early face-offs and it becomes a forgone conclusion early on that it will win Best Picture. Specifically Best Editing, where I favor “Network,” a loss to “Speech” could spell doom.

Should other films win a lot of technical awards like “Black Swan” or “True Grit,” especially in categories where “Network” and “Speech” are present, all the more emphasis goes on the winner of Best Director to predict the winner.

“Social Network” winning handedly is a longshot, but possible. If Writers Guild Award winner Christopher Nolan beats “Speech” in Best Original Screenplay and David Fincher wins Best Director, “The King’s Speech” would in all likelihood lose Best Picture. Almost no film wins the big prize without Best Director or a screenplay Oscar.

If David Seidler wins for his “Speech” screenplay but Fincher still wins Best Director, we will have a nail-biter when that final envelope is opened. In that situation, the indicator would be how many smaller awards “Speech” has already won.

No matter what scenario, if Tom Hooper is awarded Best Director, “King’s Speech” will win, plain and simple. Even if it lost in its other 10 categories (highly unlikely), it would still take home the prize because Hooper was not the best part of the film. To award him is to say “Speech” was the best movie of 2010. It’s far easier to justify awarding David Fincher, a storied director, but not give his film Best Picture.

Here are reminders of the rest of my predictions.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams – “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham-Carter – “The King’s Speech”
  • Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”
  • Hailee Steinfeld – “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver – ”Animal Kingdom”

Read about my prediction

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale – “The Fighter”
  • John Hawkes – “Winter’s Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner – “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo – “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech”

Read about my prediction

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Annette Bening – “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman – ”Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence  – “Winter’s Bone”
  • Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”
  • Michelle Williams – “Blue Valentine”

Read about my prediction

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Javier Bardem – “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges – ”True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg – “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
  • James Franco  – “127 Hours”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Directing

  • Darren Aronofsky – ”Black Swan”
  • Joel and Ethan Coen – “True Grit”
  • David Fincher – “The Social Network”
  • Tom Hooper – “The King’s Speech”
  • David O. Russell  – “The Fighter”

Read about my prediction

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

  • Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg – “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Eric Johnson, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy – “The Fighter”
  • Mike Leigh – “Another Year”
  • Christopher Nolan – “Inception”
  • David Seidler – “The King’s Speech”

Read about my prediction

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

  • Michael Arndt – “Toy Story 3″
  • Aaron Sorkin – “The Social Network”
  • Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy – “127 Hours”
  • Joel and Ethan Coen – “True Grit”
  • Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini – “Winter’s Bone”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Cinematography

  • Matthew Libatique – “Black Swan”
  • Wally Pfister – “Inception”
  • Danny Cohen  – “The King’s Speech”
  • Jeff Cronenweth – “The Social Network”
  • Roger Deakins – “True Grit”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Editing

  • Andrew Weisblum – “Black Swan”
  • Pamela Martin – “The Fighter”
  • Tariq Anwar  – “The King’s Speech”
  • Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter – “The Social Network”
  • Jon Harris – “127 Hours”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Art Direction

  • “Alice in Wonderland” – Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1″ – Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
  • “The King’s Speech” – Eve Stewart, Judy Farr
  • “Inception” – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
  • “True Grit” – Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Costume Design

  • “Alice in Wonderland”Colleen Atwood
  • “I Am Love” – Antonella Cannarozzi
  • “The King’s Speech” – Jenny Beaven
  • “The Tempest” – Sandy Powell
  • “True Grit” – Mary Zophres

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Makeup

  • “Barney’s Version” – Adrien Morot
  • “The Way Back” – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Wolfman” – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

  • A.R. Rahman – “127 Hours”
  • Alexandre Desplat – “The King’s Speech”
  • John Powell – “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • Hans Zimmer – “Inception”
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “The Social Network”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

  • “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman from “Toy Story 3
  • “I See the Light” by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater from “Tangled”
  • “If I Rise” by Dido, Rollo Armstrong and A.R. Rahman from “127 Hours”
  • “Coming Home” by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey from “Country Strong”

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

  • “Inception” – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
  • “The King’s Speech” – Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
  • “Salt” – Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
  • “The Social Network” – Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
  • “True Grit” – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

  • “Inception” – Richard King
  • “Toy Story 3″ – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
  • “Tron: Legacy” – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
  • “True Grit” – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
  • “Unstoppable” – Mark P. Stoeckinger

Read about my prediction

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

  • “Alice in Wonderland” – Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1″ – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” – Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
  • “Inception” – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
  • “Iron Man 2″ – Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Read about my prediction

Best Short Film, Animated

  • “Day & Night”
  • “The Gruffalo”
  • “Let’s Pollute”
  • “The Lost Thing”
  • “Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage”

Read about my prediction

Best Short Film, Live Action

  • “The Confession”
  • “The Crush”
  • “God of Love”
  • “Na Wewe”
  • “Wish 143″

Read about my prediction

Best Documentary, Features

  • “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
  • “GasLand”
  • “Inside Job”
  • “Restrepo”
  • “Waste Land”

Read about my prediction

Best Documentary, Short Subject

  • “Killing in the Name”
  • “Poster Girl”
  • “Strangers No More”
  • “Sun Come Up”
  • “The Warrior’s of Qiugang”

Read about my prediction

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

  • “In A Better World” (Denmark)
  • “Biutiful” (Mexico)
  • “Incendies” (Canada)
  • “Dogtooth” (Greece)
  • “Outside the Law” (Algeria)

Read about my prediction

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  • “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • “The Illusionist”
  • “Toy Story 3″

Read about my prediction



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