I've been out of the film industry for a few years now, and every year I see fewer and fewer Oscar-nominated movies. I just remembered that the Oscars are tonight, and thought, 'Well, I've done picks on the blog every year ... may as well throw some darts at the ol' dartboard'. So here we go:
Best Picture -- 'The King's Speech'. It feels like Oscar bait, especially coming from the Weinsteins, who have received more than their fair share of Oscars. Who even remembers 'Shakespeare In Love', other than it robbed 'Saving Private Ryan' back in 1998?
Best Director -- Tom Hooper, 'The King's Speech'. He won the DGA, which usually translates into Oscar gold. Really rooting for Aronofsky though.
Best Actor -- Colin Firth, 'The King's Speech'. Again, it's an Oscar bait role. Period setting, and a speech impediment? Yeah. On top of that, his body of work is strong. If anything, he'll be winning because the Academy just now caught up to his stellar work in 'A Single Man'.
Best Actress -- Natalie Portman, 'Black Swan'. Body of work + woman of the hour = trophy.
Best Supporting Actor -- Christian Bale, 'The Fighter'. If he wins, I hope someone says, 'OHHHH, GOOD FOR YOU!'
Best Supporting Actress -- Hailee Steinfeld, 'True Grit'. There have been a good amount of younger winners in this category in the past, and I think AMPAS is ready to give it to a young girl again. However, if it's a King's Speech kind of night, Helena Bonham Carter will take it.
Best Original Screenplay -- 'The King's Speech'. Probably the biggest gimmie of the night. And it's the first award given out on the broadcast, so it'll set the stage for the rest of the evening. If it doesn't win, then a lot of my other picks are gonna be blown out of the water.
Best Adapted Screenplay -- 'The Social Network'. It'll be snubbed in most other categories, because it's too 'now' and most of the Academy voters barely even know what Facebook is. But it's hard to argue the quality of the writing.
Best Foreign Language Film -- 'Incendies'. I almost picked 'Dogtooth', because it's the only one that's streaming on Netflix, but then I remembered the average Academy voter. If they don't know what Facebook is, they sure as hell don't know how to stream movies online. 'Incendies' is about war, and those win a majority of the time here.
Animated Feature Film -- 'Toy Story 3'. Okay, I stand corrected: THIS is the biggest gimmie of the night.
Art Direction -- 'The King's Speech'. It's the only true period film nominated. 'True Grit' doesn't count because it's a Western.
Cinematography -- 'True Grit'. Roger Deakins is as due to win as anyone can be. If he doesn't win here, it's Susan Lucci Syndrome. But even Susan finally won, so c'mon Academy, do what's right and give him an Oscar already.
Costume Design -- 'Alice in Wonderland'. Even though 'The King's Speech' will probably get it, I have to go with a dark horse. Tim Burton films always go over the top in areas like this, so maybe the Academy will throw them a bone.
Documentary -- 'Restrepo'. Filmed in a live war? Check. Named after a war casualty? Check. Although I'm really rooting for 'Exit Through the Gift Shop', because it was much more enjoyable. And, if only to see what shenanigans Banksy will provide at the broadcast if he wins.
Documentary Short Subject -- 'The Warriors of Qiugang'. Multiple war films in this category, so it's a coin toss. However, this one actually has 'War' in the title, so I'll pick it.
Film Editing -- 'Inception'. Oh wait, 'Inception' didn't even get nominated! Another snub in this category for Christopher Nolan. I remember how pissed I was when 'Memento' didn't get nominated. I wasn't nearly as pissed this time (Inception was good but not great, as I mention in my review here), but it's still a major oversight by a clueless Academy. So I gotta go with 'The Social Network' here. It's edited tightly, but still has enough room to breath, you never lose track of the timeline, and it does it all without feeling 'showy'.
Makeup -- 'The Wolfman'. It doesn't take a genius to make Benecio Del Toro look unattractive, but it's a makeup movie at heart, so I'll go with it.
Music (Original Score) -- 'Inception'. I should probably say 'King's Speech', but I can't bring myself to do it. Trent Reznor is also a better pick here (even if most of his score blends into the background). But how can you deny the power of that musical cue in 'Inception'?
Music (Original Song) -- 'Toy Story 3'. I am SO over Randy Newman. AMPAS won't be though.
Visual Effects -- 'Inception'. It's either this or Iron Man 2, and I doubt they'll give it to a sequel.
The Other Categories -- 'I don't give a shit.'