It's Oscar week, and I'm more excited about the Academy Awards than I have been for any sporting event since the Super Bowl. Therefore, in the spirit of my terrible NFL picks, here are my terrible Oscar picks. Check back on Thursday for my in depth breakdown of the Best Picture race. I have seen 8 of the 10 nominated films, so I feel like I have a decent handle on which movie should win and why.
Best Picture: (Pick: The King’s Speech) To me, this is a two horse race. It’s between Black Swan and The King’s Speech. Those were easily the best two films of the year. I’m going to side with The King’s Speech as my pick, although I won’t be surprised if Black Swan pulls the slight upset. Anything else in this category would feel wrong to me.
Actor in a Leading Role: (Pick: Colin Firth) It is a crime if Colin Firth doesn’t win this for The King’s Speech. Flat out wrong.
Actress in a Leading Role: (Pick: Natalie Portman) Another one that feels like a slam dunk to me. Natalie Portman gave the performance of the year in my mind playing a ballerina who loses all touch with reality in order to achieve perfection for a short time.
Actor in a Supporting Role: (Pick: Christian Bale) From all accounts, he is amazing in this one. I haven’t seen it, but I’m thinking it’s going to be Bale. I’m hoping for Geoffrey Rush, as I haven’t enjoyed a character in a film as much as his Speech Therapist from The King’s Speech in quite some time, but I think the Academy will be looking to spread around the awards a bit, and that might hurt Rush. John Hawkes was good in Winter’s Bone, but I think that film is too obscure for him to garner a win. Mark Ruffalo’s character was just a bumbling guy, I don’t think there was enough acting involved for him to win, and I haven’t heard enough from Jeremy Renner’s performance in the Town to think he’ll win. This is perhaps the most wide open of the five biggest awards, I think.
Actress in a Supporting Role: (Pick: Hailee Steinfeld) Two nominees from The Fighter might cancel each other out. I’m hoping for Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit, but Helena Bonham Carter would be a solid choice as well. In the end, I’m taking the 14 year old on a hunch.
Directing: (Pick: Darren Aronofsky – The Black Swan) The movie is disturbing, but it’s exceptionally artful.
Animated Feature Film: (Pick: Toy Story 3) Toy Story 3, obviously. It was nominated for Best Picture. This is the biggest no-brainer of the night.
Art Direction: (Pick: Inception) The world created in Inception was great, I don’t think any other film is going to get this. I’d give an outside chance to Alice in Wonderland, although I think the story in the movie may have been to fluffy and insignificant to garner an Oscar, but the visuals in it were tremendous.
Cinematography (Pick: Black Swan) This movie is crafted beautifully, and the choppiness of many scenes adds to the chaotic feel of the thing. Feels like an Oscar winner to me.
Costume Design: (Pick: Alice in Wonderland) This fantastical world of Wonderland had to be quite an undertaking to costume.
Okay, Here is where I start just making random uninformed guesses:
Documentary: (Pick: Exit through the Gift Shop) Okay, I have no clue on this one, but Netflix suggested I watch this one, and that’s good enough for me. It’s fun to have something to root for, even if you’re completely clueless about it.
Documentary Short Subject: (Pick: Sun Come Up) Again, no clue. Total guess.
Film Editing: (Pick: Black Swan) I have no idea how they decide who did the best job editing, but I’ll go Black Swan here…
Foreign Language Film: (Pick: Biutiful) Javier Bardem was nominated for Best Actor in this one, so I’m guessing it’s going to win. Not much more to go on than that.
Makeup: (Pick: The Wolfman) How can you not root for something called “The Wolfman” to win an award??
Original Score: (Pick: Inception) – When in doubt, guess Hans Zimmer, right?
Music (Original Song): (Pick: Toy Story 3) – “We Belong Together” – Like I’m going to pick against Randy Newman? Not likely.
Short Film (Animated): (Pick: Day and Night) – It’s the only one I saw, and I remember being impressed. Outside possibility to The Gruffalo because the character is cool looking.
Short Film (Live Action): (Pick: Wish 143) – Total guess again.
Sound Editing: (Pick: Toy Story 3) – Yet another guess, although how do they determine who edited the best sound? So random.
Sound Mixing: (Pick: The King’s Speech) – As long as Salt doesn’t win, I’m happy. I hated the movie Salt.
Visual Effects – (Pick: Inception) - Whole cities flipped around in that. Pretty amazing.
Adapted Screenplay – (Pick: True Grit) - Gotta give my boys the Coens a little love here.
Original Screenplay – (Pick: The King’s Speech) – My favorite movie of the year, so it gets this one from me by default.