By Gordon Meyer
It’s going to be an interesting Oscar race this year, to be sure, though I doubt there will be many surprises. Now that “The King’s Speech” took this year’s DGA honors, statistically it’s the film most likely to capture both Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, in spite of all the buzz about “The Social Network.” Frankly, considering the older demographic of the Academy’s membership, the subject matter of “The King’s Speech” is probably much more appealing anyway.
So what horse races there are will be in the other categories. Here are some of my predictions:
Best Actor: A tossup between Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” and James Franco” in “127 Hours.” While I don’t rule out Colin Firth’s performance in “The King’s Speech,” I’m leaning towards Franco getting the gold because this grueling and ultimately inspirational movie, based on a true story (always a plus in an Oscar race) is largely a one man show and he pulls it off brilliantly.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman for “Black Swan.” Halle Berry gave a truly Oscar worthy performance in the little seen “Frankie and Alice,” but since that film didn’t even get nominated, my spidey-sense tells me that Portman’s got the buzz.
Original Screenplay: While I really liked Christopher Nolan’s script for “Inception,” I suspect David Seidler will benefit from the growing momentum of “The King’s Speech.”
Adapted Screenplay: “The Social Network” in spite of its admitted lapses in accuracy.
Animated Feature: Even though “Toy Story 3” is also nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, which you would think might cannibalize the voting, I don’t think enough Academy members would take it seriously enough for Best Picture since it’s a kid’s movie for heaven’s sake. But that “kid’s movie” is so sophisticated and smartly written, I’m laying odds that it will beat out “How To Train Your Dragon.”
Visual Effects: While all the nominated films are standouts, I’ve gotta go with the “Inception” team. This award tends to go to teams that show us things we’ve never seen before. Normally I’d lean towards “Harry Potter,” but since that’s the first of a two-part movie and since there was that whole 3D conversion debacle, if that film wins at all it will be for Part 2 next year.
How accurate are my predictions? Stay tuned!