Chips' picks for the award-winning flicks
After what seems like an endless stream of red carpets and Natalie Portman's baby bump, awards season is finally coming to an end this Sunday as audiences everywhere will tune in to watch the 83rd annual Academy Awards. 2010 was a dream year for movie lovers; Hollywood cranked out flawlessly executed franchise hits, thrillers, love stories, dramas, westerns, charming animations and epics. But soon it will be time for the dream to end, for actors, directors and crews to accept their little golden statues and get back to work on making even more fantastic films for 2011.
But before then, we self-proclaimed movie snobs are here to keep the dream alive and tell you who's going to win the biggest awards on Sunday. Stay tuned, Blazers - this is going to be an Oscar night worth watching.
Will win: "The King's Speech”
Should win: "The Social Network”
America's Anglophilia proves to be worse than ever as critics throughout the country continuously shower "The King's Speech" with awards and nominations. The Academy will be no different. The film is supposedly the most moving in the category – though personally, nothing brought me to tears more than the headache I endured throughout "Inception" – and definitely has all of the carefully contrived elements that The Oscars generally look for. "King's Speech" was fascinating and emotional, yes, but honestly, movies like "127 Hours" and "The Fighter" are better and more creative examples of a heartwarming, Oscar-deserving triumph. Nonetheless, it's "The Social Network," with its epic drama, marvelous characters and ultimate relevance, that deserves the statue.
Will win: David Fincher, "The Social Network”
Should win: Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan”
All five directors in this category are geniuses who were involved in seriously great movies this year, but it takes a special kind of genius to pull off the crazy that was "Black Swan." But I'm guessing that the Academy will decide that Darren Aronofsky's piece was too edgy and instead turn to the extremely popular David Fincher just so that "The Social Network" doesn't get left high and dry at the awards this year.
Will win: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech”
Should win: Javier Bardem, "Biutiful”
I have no doubt that the Academy will reward Colin Firth, a well-respected man (though I don't know if he's who The Kinks had in mind) among his peers and a veteran of high-grossing and highly praised films, will go home with an Oscar on Sunday night. Firth admittedly did a bang-up job portraying the almost unbelievable pressure that King George VI felt in a realistic and even relatable manner, and to be frank the other nominees won't come close. Despite Firth's inevitable win, I would love to see dark horse Javier Bardem steal the statue (not literally. Though actually, I would love to see that too), as long as he leaves his serial killer hair behind.
Will win: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan”
Should win: Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine”
Natalie Portman, in addition to being in about 7,000 movies this year, is working the heck out of her baby bump – as if to remind all Academy members that she is sweet and innocent and (literally) full of life and isn't it impressive how she can act so destructive and demonic and scary? Girlfriend wants that Oscar. Though Portman's greatest competition is the more subtle Annette Bening, I'm betting that the former's disturbed ballerina beats out the latter's conflicted, if "alternative," wife.
Will win: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan”
Should win: Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone”
For her demented, deceiving turn in "Black Swan,” Natalie Portman spent half a year in ballet and fitness training. Her ride through the critical circuit has lasted nearly as long, and along the way she's acquired a fiancée, a baby bump and a slew of additions to her mantelpiece. Nonetheless, the Academy plainly loved the film less than expected (it's the only Best Picture nominee to miss out on a screenplay nod), and the "it's her time” campaign for veteran Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right” has held up well. It's unlikely that she can reverse the frontrunner's momentum now, though.
Best Supporting Actor
Will win: Christian Bale, "The Fighter”
Should win: Christian Bale, "The Fighter”
If Christian Bale gets snubbed for this Oscar, something is seriously wrong with the Academy. Bale played his strung-out yet charming character so impeccably that I shrieked with glee when the real-life man whom Bale was mimicking came on screen at the end of "The Fighter" – you can barely tell the two apart! Geoffrey Rush is the other big contender in this category, but even Rush's best acting can't hold a candle to Bale's undeniable commitment.
Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Amy Adams, "The Fighter”
Should win: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter”
Will win: Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit”
Should win: Amy Adams, "The Fighter”
Here is by far the most intriguing of the major categories. Melissa Leo seemed poised to capitalize on a streak of awards for her deliciously over-the-top role as the protective mother hen of "The Fighter,” but a tasteless rush of ads over the past few weeks that dressed her in fur coats under the gleaming word "CONSIDER” may have stirred a backlash. If so, "Fighter” fans may go for the more deserving Amy Adams, or voters could turn to the Coen brothers' spunky 14-year-old find, Hailee Steinfeld. Helena Bonham Carter might sneak in, but she delivered such a non-performance in "The King's Speech” that I can't bring myself to predict her.
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