2011 Oscar Picks

I play this game with myself each year: Pick winners for the major categories and see how well I do.

Here are my picks:

Best Movie:

Who Will Win: “The King’s Speech”
Who Should Win: “Black Swan”

The Academy loves movies like “The King’s Speech.” They just do. Plus, the Wiensteins love to throw their weight around like prize fighters. Don’t let the Golden Globe winning ‘The Social Network” fool you, the Academy isn’t voting for it. If it came out two years ago, maybe. The Academy went through a rash of picking “of the moment” mediocre films: “Crash,” “Slumdog Millionaire.” But that’s been assuaged and they seem to be back to picking the true best contenders. So, even though “Black Swan” is an absolute masterpiece, “The King’s Speech” is the kind of well-made, family fare that the Academy likes for Best Picture.

Best Director

Who Will Win: Tim Hooper
Who Should Win: Darren Aronofsky

Possible surprise upstart: David Fincher. “The Social Network” was well shot: dark when needed, tightly controlled scenes, and well-balanced. But I don’t see him winning given how likely “The King’s Speech” is as Best Picture. Aronofsky should take it. He’s a director that has proven over and over again to be a master story-teller and capable of getting the best performances out of the best actors. “Black Swan” is Portman at her best, Kunis at her best, and shows us why Winona Ryder was once a top talent. But the only hope “Black Swan” has for a top prize is Portman.

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Colin Firth
Who Should Win: Colin Firth

No question. It’s his time. He proved it last year with “A Single Man” and he affirmed it with “The King’s Speech.”

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Christian Bale
Who Should Win: Geoffrey Rush

Christian Bale is an actor who’s put in his dues. The Academy likes that. And with “The Fighter” he made the the kind of physical transformation that, coupled with Leo, made the film worth watching. Without the performances in “The Fighter” it’s a barely watchable film. But a big part of me wants Rush to take it. His humor made so many moments in “The King’s Speech.”

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman
Who Should Win: Natalie Portman

Just give it to her. No need to vote.

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo
Who Should Win: Melissa Leo

I don’t think there’s a competition here. She’s got the Globe and the SAG. Time for Oscar.

Best Animated Film

Who Will Win: Toy Story 3
Who Should Win: Toy Story 3

Best Original Score

Who Will Win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Who Should Win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

They’re going to win because I say so. Hell yeah to the Academy for Eminem and 36 Mafia’s wins. Time for Nine Inch Nails, motherfuckers!

Best Original Song

Who Will Win: Randy Newman
Who Should Win: Randy Newman

If “Country Strong” wins all puppies will die.

UPDATE: I forgot to include my picks for screenplay. Here they are:

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: “The Social Network”
Who Should Win: “The Social Network”

Best Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: “The King’s Speech”
Who Should Win: “The Kids Are Alright”

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