For the first time ever, I’ve seen all Best Picture nominees before AMPAS hands out it annual awards. Having said that, I think The Social Network (TSN) WILL and SHOULD win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Not because it swept every single critic’s choice awards imaginable, but simply because it is the best of the year. TSN is not the typical “Oscar film”, but isn’t that a good thing? It is groundbreaking because it speaks to our generation. Not to mention that it’s also the coolest movie in this year’s set of nominees with its bad-ass score, rapid edits, sharp dialogue, great acting, and masterful direction. It WILL and SHOULD take home a lion’s share of awards on the day of the Oscars.
The King’s Speech (TKS) is the closest rival of TSN. Its rise to frontrunner status only came when it garnered the approval of the Producer’s Guilds, Director’s Guilds, and Screen Actors Guilds which are said to be precursors of the Academy Awards. So we ask ourselves: in predicting the outcome of the Oscar race, what is more important–the critic’s choice awards or the guilds? Unfortunately, historical data point to the latter. I don’t hate TKS. I agree that it is a well-made and feel-good film. However, I’d be damn mad if it beats TSN to the finish line because there at least five other films nominated for Best Picture that are better than TKS.
Likewise, I’m rooting for David Fincher (TSN) to take home the Best Director prize. It’s a shame that his fiercest competitor, Christopher Nolan (Inception), did not get a nod. He would have easily taken the place of David O. Russell (The Fighter). I also hope that Nolan takes home the Best Original Screenplay award. If there is any justice in this world, Aaron Sorkin’s impressive work on TSN will be honored as the Best Adapted Screenplay.
The acting categories are all locks at this point. There is no contest in the Best Actress category. Natalie Portman (Black Swan) has this in the bag. I wish Jesse Eisenberg (TSN) or James Franco (127 Hours) has a chance at clinching the Best Actor trophy, but that seems unlikely. Nevertheless, I will still be happy for Colin Firth (TKS) as he goes up the podium to accept his award. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (The Fighter) are also expected to deliver their acceptance speeches for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, though I still wish that Andrew Garfield (TSN) and Barbara Hershey (Black Swan) are in their shoes instead. But for what it’s worth, I think Bale and Leo are the most deserving among the nominees.
I hope Inception and TSN will reign in the technical categories. I root for TSN for Score and Editing; while Inception gets my vote for Cinematography, Art Direction, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing and Sound Editing (what the heck is the difference between these two anyway?). I hope the following films win as well: Toy Story 3 for Animated Feature, Day and Night for Animated Short, Exit Through the Gift Shop for Documentary, Dogtooth for Foreign Language Film, and Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi’s I See the Light (Tangled) for Original Song only because Christina Aguilera’s Bound to You (Burlesque) is not nominated (bias!).
I don’t have a strong opinion on the rest of the categories, so no need to elaborate. Who are your picks on the biggest night in cinema? Sound off in the comments section.