Predicting the finish for Best Picture
By Mat DeKinder
TFW Contributing Writer
Sure it’s self-congratulatory, and giving awards to works of art is subjective at best and pointless at worst, but I don’t care. I love the Oscars!
Movie dorks like myself live for this time of year because it validates one of our favorite pastimes — arguing about movies.
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are on Feb. 27, and there’s not a lot of intrigue in the acting categories this year. Colin Firth, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale are virtual shoo-ins in their respective categories.
The only doubt is in the Best Supporting Actress category where Melissa Leo looks to be the early favorite, but don’t be surprised if she gets knocked aside by her “The Fighter” co-star Amy Adams or the young and impressive Hailee Steinfeld from “True Grit.”
The fun is in the Best Picture race where another strong group has been fielded in the second year since the category expanded from five to 10 nominees.
The Academy lucked out because all 10 movies are actually worthy of consideration when in a lot of years they’ve been hard pressed to scrape together five decent flicks. They could have even opened the field up to 11 (with a minor snub for “The Town”) but I’m very cool with the movies that made the cut.
Here is a rundown of the movies up for the ultimate Hollywood prize listed in order of predicted finish:
10. “The Kids Are Alright” — You know it’s a strong year when this is your last-place movie. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a married lesbian couple in this indie, family drama. Strong acting overshadows a shaky plot, but just not strong enough to walk away with the award.
9. “Black Swan” — Who doesn’t love trippy flicks about ballet dancers? OK, so it’s probably a little too weird for the older Academy voters, plus Portman’s Best Actress win will be this movie’s moment in the sun.
8. “Winter’s Bone” — Now it starts to get tough, as from here on out any of these movies could have won the Oscar in lesser years. “Winter’s Bone” is unquestionably the least-seen of the nominated movies, but this study of meth dealers filmed in the Missouri Ozarks has the weight of a Greek epic. Good stuff.
7. “127 Hours” — Yes it’s a movie about a guy who has to cut his own arm off, but it’s also one of the most dynamic and life-affirming movies to feature one actor standing in place for most of the film. Plus, pinning James Franco under a boulder might be the only way to slow the dude down, this guy does everything, including co-hosting this year’s Oscars.
6. “Toy Story 3” — Probably the most beloved movie on the list with an ending that would make even a soulless robot cry (I’m looking at you Ryan Seacrest). That said, it’s animated and no animated movie will ever win Best Picture as long as there is a Best Animated Feature award. Sorry Buzz and Woody.
5. “The Fighter” — If the award were given out based solely on performances, this movie would win in a landslide. Even though it is the best-acted movie of the year, it’s still a boxing movie and there’s a lot in this film we’ve seen many, many times before. We’ll consider its loss a TKO.
4. “True Grit” — By remaking a John Wayne classic, the Coen Brothers have their biggest box-office hit and a long shot at their second Academy Award. Unfortunately remakes don’t have the best track record at the Oscars, so the Coens will just have to be happy with their millions and millions of dollars.
3. “Inception” — This was my favorite film of 2010, a movie that was big on both visual and intellectual spectacle. Its twisty-turny plot and audacious originality might understandably make it to difficult for voters to fully embrace. That said, not even so much as a nomination for the movie’s visionary director Christopher Nolan? Bad form, Oscar voters. Bad form.
2. “The Social Network” — This movie could very easily walk away with the big prize as it has cleaned up in most of the pre-Oscar awards. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin managed to make depositions and dorm rooms thrilling in what many have called the 21st century’s “Citizen Kane.” The problem is that it’s a movie about the Internet and there are a lot of older voters in the Academy who aren’t exactly “tech savvy.” Ernest Borgnine thinks the computer in his house is actively trying to kill him. It is for this reason my gut tells me the winner will be …
1. “The King’s Speech” — This is old-fashioned moviemaking at its finest. Take an inspirational true story, a stellar cast and a lead character with an affliction, inject some humor and romance, and you my friend have a big, ol’ juicy hunk of Oscar bait. Let’s face it, we’re still just colonies at heart and we love our movies about the British monarchy.
Oscar Ballot – predict all the winners