February 25, 2011

Oscar predictions: Part I

I have had a long-standing interest in the Academy Awards. They rarely give their awards to the most deserving candidates - they rarely nominate all of the most deserving candidates - but as an annual window into the world of how Hollywood thinks they're very addictive to watch. It's like a bitchy circus, with lots of insincere marketing, cynical "Oscar-bait" performances every December, and horribly unattractive ball gowns. Here are the first of my predictions for Sunday night's Academy awards, this time focusing on the four acting categories.
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in Biutiful
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Colin Firth in The King's Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours
In this category I have only seen two of the nominees (Bridges and Firth). That said, I agree with most people that this award is almost certainly going to Colin Firth for his performance in The King’s Speech. I’m quite happy with that too, since I thought it was a career-best performance for him.
Who’s going to win: Colin Firth
Who I want to win: Colin Firth

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech
Christian Bale has the momentum in this category, however if The King’s Speech overwhelms the awards this year – as many are suggesting it might – then there’s a reasonable chance Geoffrey Rush might be honoured instead. In this category I have seen three of the nominees (Hawkes, Renner and Rush), and to be honest I think John Hawkes gave by far the best performance. It was so good it was spine-tingling: frightening, sympathetic, textured and haunting.
Who’s going to win: Christian Bale
Who I want to win: John Hawkes

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
I have no real ability to comment on this category first-hand, since I’ve only seen Jennifer Lawrence’s performance out of the five nominees. The momentum here is with Natalie Portman, but I’ve got a gut feeling that the award is going to go to Annette Bening, who’s been nominated four times now without a win. In terms of who I’d like to see win, I’d be very happy to see Jennifer Lawrence get the prize for her breakout performance in Winter’s Bone – it was the best female performance I saw last year.
Who’s going to win: Annette Bening
Who I want to win: Jennifer Lawrence

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom
A month or so back I’d have absolutely picked Melissa Leo for this award, given the overwhelming amount of positive press she was getting. Then she started aggressively campaigning for the award herself, which historically has never gone well with Academy voters (it was personal campaigning that pretty much stopped Sean Astin’s chances of a Return of the King Best Supporting Actor nomination in its tracks). That likely leaves either Helena Bonham Carter or Hailee Steinfeld to win this category, and I think the older members of the Academy are going to skew this in Bonham Carter’s direction. I’d personally go for Steinfeld, although it is patently ridiculous that her central role in True Grit was nominated for Supporting Actress.
Who’s going to win: Helena Bonham Carter
Who I want to win: Hailee Steinfeld


  1. An australian film got noticed by hollywood?

  2. I know! It's craziness - it's Shine all over again, except most likely without the Oscar win.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.