Sunday, February 27, 2011

Skip's Oscar Picks!

Look, I know it's the 11th Hour, but I've only just finished watching the last of the films nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Picture.  I thought it only right that I hold off on giving my uninformed and expert opinion until I'd seen them all.

Well, now that I have I'm going to share with you who I think will take home the Oscar gold.

What? You think I want to write this any more than you want to read it? I'm just doing this in a desperate attempt to write off $70 in movie tickets for next year's tax returns.

Let's get to it, I'm getting sleepy.

Best Supporting Actress

Since I've only seen four of the five nominees, I'm excluding Jacki Weaver right off the bat.  And for me, as adequate as Amy Adams' performance was, it's really a three person race between Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfeld.

Personally I want Steinfeld to win as she was stellar, but Leo has tons of buzz.  That said, Leo might also face a backlash for campaigning and Bonham Carter's film has more momentum than The Fighter.

Who I Want: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Who I Think: Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actor

Again, I've only seen four of the five nominees so I'll exclude Jeremy Renner from the conversation (though I've been a fan of his since Bravo's "The It Factor.")  And again, it's a three person race, because I found Mark Ruffalo's performance to be completely slathered in adequatulence.  That leaves Geoffrey Rush, John Hawkes and Christian Bale.

And again, I've got a personal favorite; Hawkes, because he was mesmerizing.  But it's really a toss up between Bale, who completely become his character and Rush, who brings his to life.  Because I think The King's Speech is the stronger of the two films I'm going with Rush.  Plus, Rush gives a more well rounded performance.

Who I Want: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone

Who I Think: Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Best Actress

This time around I'm in the dark about two of the five performances; Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams.  While I enjoyed Annette Bening, I just feel that Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman did better jobs with their material.

However Bening could sneak in with the win as a sort of cumulative career honor.  I'd like to see Lawrence win, because she drove her vehicle, but there's no overlooking the performance by Portman.

Who I Want: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

Who I Think: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Actor

I've seen everyone except for Javier Bardem (though I plan on checking him out soon.)  I honestly don't think Jeff Bridges deserves to be nominated.  I don't know if I'd consider him a lead.  So it's really between Jesse Eisenberg, James Franco and Colin Firth.

This is a tough race. Eisenberg did a great job, but with an unsympathetic character.  After I'd seen 127 Hours I thought it was Franco's. But then I saw The King's Speech and Firth's performance is everything everyone said it was.  It's a close one, but I think it's Firth's.

Who I Want: Colin Firth, The King's Speech

Who I Think: Colin Firth, The King's Speech

Best Picture

From jump, let's count out Inception, The Kid's Are All Right, Toy Story 3 and Winter's Bone.  That leaves us with Black Swan, The Fighter, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network and True Grit.

Personally I don't think The Fighter or True Grit stand a chance and 127 Hours is a long shot, which leaves us with three.  I'll also scratch off Black Swan, because let's face it; no Black film will ever win Best Picture.

Thus we have The Social Network and The King's Speech.  The Social Network was a great film about completely unlikable people.  It also recreates the present, which isn't difficult.  I think that setting and the story of The King's Speech give it the edge.

(I just want to point out that I'd be really happy if Toy Story 3 or Winter's Bone took this one.)

What I Want: The King's Speech

What I Think: The King's Speech

Best Director

I'm really happy with this year's crop, because I'm a fan of most of their work.  I remember when Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell and David Fincher were just coming up and I've been a fan of Los Hermanos Coen forever.

All that said, I'm going with Tom Hooper, because The King's Speech is just really that good.*

What I Want: The King's Speech

What I Think: The King's Speech

(* Now before you accuse me of jumping on any bandwagon, let me just say that The King's Speech is indeed a great film. Also as a point of full disclosure, I used to have a terrible stutter, so it hit close to home in that regard and made it resonate much more.)

And there you have it, the F&S Oscar Picks.  Hopefully next year I'll get on the ball earlier and we won't be posting them on the actual day of the Oscars.

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