The 2010 Academy Awards: Who Will/Should/I Want to Win
You’re going to see a lot of Oscar prediction/hope lists in the next few weeks, but this one is special, because it’s by me. And because I haven’t seen The King’s Speech (or True Grit or 127 Hours or Winter’s Bone—I’m working on it!).
WILL WIN: The Social Network
SHOULD WIN: Black Swan
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: The Fighter
I liked The Social Network and think it’s a fine, entertaining, intelligent film, but in my mind, it did not invoke the level of craft that Black Swan did, and thus does not deserve to be called the Best Picture of 2010. The final product of Black Swan, from the performances to the directing to the visual effects all the way to the use of sound and movement trumps for me what was just a well-done but straightforward story with The Social Network; that’s not saying the spectacle should trump the storytelling every time, but in this case, I just think more was achieved. But of course being from Boston, I’d love to see Mark Wahlberg up there accepting the statue just because it would be the perfect end to a great real life underdog story, and because it would make my dad happy.
WILL WIN: David Fincher
SHOULD WIN: Darren Aronofsky
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Darren Aronofsky
Pretty much a redux of what I just wrote for Best Picture; Fincher did a wonderful job and coaxed tremendous work from his young cast, but Aronofsky was just managing so much more. I don’t know enough about directing a movie to dare claim I know what the job entails, but it feels to me like Black Swan was a heftier task for the guy who had to make sure it all came together (and did so beautifully).
WILL WIN: Colin Firth
SHOULD WIN: Colin Firth
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Jesse Eisenberg
Again, I haven’t seen The King’s Speech yet (next on my list, if not True Grit), but Firth seems a lock here. The guy’s overdue, always gets nominated and his performance here has been well-reviewed across the board. He’s a talented fellow who always turns in nice work, so I surely won’t be let down when he takes the podium. Still, for me the very best part about The Social Network was Jesse Eisenberg’s turn as Mark Zuckerberg, with every intense reptilian twitch and the way he seemed like he was an alien or robot attempting to mimic a human. The nice thing is this is Eisenberg’s breakout, so he’ll be back.
WILL WIN: Natalie Portman
SHOULD WIN: Natalie Portman
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Natalie Portman
Deserves it, will get it, I’ll be pleased to see it. She gave it her all mentally, psychologically and physically to convey a tireless struggle for perfection and accompanying descent into madness. I’d be shocked if this goes another way.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WILL WIN: Christian Bale
SHOULD WIN: Christian Bale
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Christian Bale
Another instance where I’ll be surprised if this goes another way. Bale is obviously crazy—in a good way…and maybe the other way—with his method acting and throwing himself completely into every role he takes on, so it was really just a matter of time before he hit on the right one in the right movie to score the big prize. He’s absolutely electric in The Fighter and elevated what’s already a great film to even higher heights. This could be the acceptance speech of the night.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WILL WIN: No idea
SHOULD WIN: Melissa Leo
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Melissa Leo & Amy Adams
I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen here, because the two ladies of The Fighter really do both deserve it, but conventional award show wisdom says they split their audience and thus open the field for a third party. It really would be nice if just this once the award could be co-accepted, as both were excellent. However, as impressive as Adams was stepping outside her good girl comfort zone and delivering both hilarious and emotional moments, Leo completely transformed herself to the point of being unrecognizable—and then gave the performance of a lifetime. This one’s going to throw off my Oscar pool, I just know it.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
WILL WIN: The King’s Speech
SHOULD WIN: The King’s Speech
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: Inception
As one of the two leading contenders for Best Picture, by all rights The King’s Speech should walk away with this one. However, and this is coming from somebody who really just thought of Inception as a pretty solid heist movie as opposed to the game changer most see it as, part of me does feel like Christopher Nolan deserves some consideration for coming up with a concept most would consider among the most original in some time.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
WILL WIN: The Social Network
SHOULD WIN: Not sure
I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN: 127 Hours
Though I predict The Social Network will win here with fair ease, as it’s the only nominee I’ve seen of the five, I can’t really make a fair prediction. It would be fairly awesome and inspirational to see Aron Ralston get to accept the award, though—or does he not get to since it was only adapted from his story? I feel like they’d let him on stage.
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