Oscar Contenders

Oscar Predictions Updated; Is Oscar's Best Bet... 'True Grit' for Best Picture?

Looks like a four horse race to me

Photo: AMPAS // RopeofSilicon.com

This morning Nathaniel Rogers from Film Experience emailed over a question asking "What if They're Were Five...?" pondering the thought of five Best Picture nominees instead of the now ten. I agree with him, The King's Speech, The Social Network, The Fighter and True Grit would be the obvious top four with Black Swan likely being #5. To me this signals a four film Best Picture race. Yes, in only a few days, the awards season went from a predictable bore to a rather interesting race for the Oscar.

A resurgence of interest in the Oscar race started with The King's Speech winning with the Producers Guild, a win that shocked me entirely. I can come up with several reasons as to why several other films seemed more likely to take that award from Mark Wahlberg's stick-to-it-iveness with The Fighter and the success it has enjoyed, same with Darren Aronofsky and the near $100 million success Black Swan has become, or the aggressive team behind the highly lauded The Social Network or True Grit becoming the first $100+ million film for the Coen brothers. I can't come up with any major reason for why The King's Speech would have topped the list, it wasn't even the cheapest production on the board with The Fighter and The Kids are All Right both coming in below Speech's reported $12.3 million total and Black Swan coming in just over at $13 million. And Black Swan and The Fighter blow it away at the box-office.

It should be said, I'm approaching the idea of a Producers Guild Award from the perspective of looking at it as a group awarding the best producers. The producers that put together not only a great film, but a cost effective one. A film that speaks to the art of filmmaking as much as showing some sort of an advancement in the cinematic world and to the profession. In these terms it would seem a win for The King's Speech is more of a win for convention, and I say this as a firm supporter of The King's Speech, a film that seems more like a logical loss at the PGAs and a win at the Oscars by comparison.

Then again, never count out Harvey Weinstein. It seems no matter the film and no matter the conversation he's always found a way to buck the system and you better believe he'll take that PGA win and the film's 12 Oscar nominations and work some magic. And it already seems he's found even more ways to keep the film in the headlines.

Weinstein is already thinking of new ways to bolster Speech's box-office prospects, primarily involving the film's R-rating, which comes as a result of the clip you can watch to the right featuring a foul-mouthed expression of frustration in the midst of a therapeutic exercise where Colin Firth as King George VI utters the word "fuck" 42 times. It's a one minute and 19 second scene that earned the film an R rating from the MPAA, a rating that was appealed, but held up in comparison to Jack Nicholson using the word three times in How Do You Know and that film still managed to receive a PG-13 rating on appeal.

The R-rating is certainly holding the film back domestically and Harvey may have an answer as he is talking with director Tom Hooper about trimming the profanity that earned the film an R rating in order to attain a PG-13 or even PG. Weinstein tells the Los Angeles Times, "The British numbers are huge because the rating lets families see the movie together. Tom and I are trying to find a unique way to do this that keeps his vision of the movie."

Weinstein's plan wouldn't be put in action until after the Oscars are held on February 27, but just the idea keeps the film's name in the headlines. For now, the film is expected to expand to nearly 2,500 theaters this weekend and after 12 Oscar nominations and competition that consists of The Mechanic and The Rite it serves as solid counter programming as it sets out to add to its current $57.9 million domestic total.

UPDATE: Fandango reports: "Fandango's top daily ticket-seller is now The King's Speech, as of 12:00 noon PT Wednesday. The film has seen a 76% increase in ticket sales on Fandango since the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday."

So where does that leave us as far as the Best Picture race goes?

I'll begin by saying I've moved The King's Speech back into front-runner status and I don't think there is much that can be done to change my mind. I expect to go into Oscar Sunday with Speech as my pick to win. There are a few guild awards to be handed out that could beef up the conversation, but I don't think even those can change my mind.

This Saturday the Directors Guild will hand out their award and I expect David Fincher (The Social Network) will take that one home. However, I won't be shocked if any of the other candidates -- Darren Aronofsky, Tom Hooper, Christopher Nolan and David O. Russell -- take home the award. Regardless of who wins at the DGA I still expect Fincher to win the Oscar, but will also remain equally unsurprised if he doesn't. In fact, Hooper stands a very good chance at taking both.

Then, on Sunday I'll be live-blogging the Screen Actors Guild Awards at which time I expect The Fighter to win Best Ensemble, but if there is an award to make me change my mind this is it. Should SAG decide to award The Social Network the Best Ensemble award the tides could shift again, but at that time it becomes a situation similar to the final games of the NFL regular season... If X wins Y and A loses B, then C is in, but if Z loses Y and C wins B, then A is probably the front-runner. My head is already spinning.

So, at this point The King's Speech is the film I expect to take the top prize, even though Vegas doesn't agree.

Best Picture odds as of January 25, 2011
These are presented for Entertainment Purposes only and not as actual betting suggestions. If you choose to bet on the Oscars you're on your own.
Photo: Wynn Casino

Just above are the Vegas odds on Best Picture (get the complete PDF right here), which has The Social Network as a slight favorite over The King's Speech. However, I'm not sure if you see what I see, but True Grit at 100 to 1 odds? Everyone I've talked to, and read recently, feels the Coens' True Grit was among the films on Tuesday morning it was obvious the Academy has really proved they liked. It's a universally enjoyed film, perhaps not considered the best of 2010 (which it was for me), but definitely top five material. And with the Academy's preferential voting process that's just the kind of film that could end up surprising us all, but then again, I wouldn't consider it that much of a surprise.

Beyond Best Picture, other notable changes include David Seidler (The King's Speech) now winning Best Original Screenplay over Christopher Nolan (Inception) and Annette Bening winning for Best Actress over Natalie Portman (Black Swan). No, this isn't because I think No Strings Attached was some sort of detriment to Portman's Oscar campaign, it just feels to me like that's the way the winds are blowing and I expect we'll see a Bening win this Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Should Portman win, maybe I'll change my tune.

So with that rather long-winded opening out of the way, here are my updated Oscar predictions. Listed below are just the winners with a few runners-up and second consideration names and nominees listed. If you want the full charts for each category just click here and you can see how my predictions have shifted since the nominations were announced.

Oscar Predictions
As of January 26, 2011 - Get the Full Charts Right Here

Best Picture: The King's Speech
CLOSE SECOND: The Social Network
CLOSE THIRD: True Grit
CLOSE FOURTH: The Fighter

Best Actor: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

Best Actress: Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
RUNNER-UP: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
LEANING TOWARD: Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Director: David Fincher (The Social Network)
LEANING TOWARD: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler (The King's Speech)
CLOSE SECOND: Christopher Nolan (Inception)

Best Foreign Language Feature: Incendies (Canada)

Best Documentary: Inside Job

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3

Best Film Editing: The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)
LEANING TOWARD: The King's Speech (Tariq Anwar)

Best Cinematography: True Grit (Roger Deakins)

Best Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland (Robert Stromberg and Karen O'Hara)

Best Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)

Best Sound Editing: Inception

Best Sound Mixing: The Social Network

Best Original Score: The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Best Original Song: "I See the Light" from Tangled

Best Makeup: Barney's Version

Best Visual Effects: Inception

Again, if you want to see my full prediction charts click here.


Now, as a special bonus, for any of my readers in the United States (sorry international readers I don't think Hulu works outside the US), Hulu has made available the entirety of Banksy's Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. You can watch the full documentary directly below.

Exit Through the Gift Shop
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  • yan m

    It be nice if Nolan wins the DGA, how embarrassed would the academy be!! That would be the best fuck you to the academy. But I can't see fincher losing.

    • destiny

      I agree! Nolan should've been nominated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

      I totally agree - sadly Fincher will win, but I'm still hoping and praying for Nolan :)

  • criterion10

    after the nominees were announced the other day, i felt the same way that the awards race took a complete 180..thinks have been shaken up and february 27th will be a very interesting night . . .

  • Cory

    Benning can't and better not beat Portman on Oscar night. Snubbing Nolan was bad enough. Benning wining over Portman, for me at least, is just unthinkable.

    And yet, I know it'll happen because of what's happened to Benning in the past. Swank knocking her off twice singles that another young actress can't do that to Benning again.

    They won't let it happen. Crying shame!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

      Are you kidding??????? Benning deserves it a million times more than Portman! Anyone (ok thats a stretch, but a hell of a let of people!) could've played Nina to the same extent (I won't say better but I want to) as Portman did, but I see few people who could ever beat Benning's brilliant performance in The Kids Are All Right.

  • Joe

    I don't agree with your picks for Best Picture or Best Actress. I don't think anything can stop Portman or The Social Network at this time. I agree that The Kings Speech getting 12 nominations and True Grit getting 10 is interesting however i can't help but think about how The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button got 13 nominations and only took home 3 in technical categories. I feel that this could be the same situation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

      Nah man, I feel like Inception is this year's Basterds & Button, DEFINITELY not King's Speech or True Grit.

  • maja

    Sorry Brad, but I have to disagree with you here.

    It seems to me that you are looking for any shred of evidence to back the King's Speech rather than the front-runner The Social Network. I do admire your courage for going for something different, but I just cannot see anything but the Social Network winning Best Picture and to me the race is just as boring as it was before King Speech won one award. Firstly, look at the odds you posted...2 to 3 and 5 to 2, that's not even a close race!

    As for best actress, i think that's (if possible) even more clear cut than best picture. I mean look at the odds over at PaddyPower...Natalie Portman is 1/10 on! Anette Benning is 5/1. I don't like those odds personally.

    So yes, I cannot see anything other than Social Network for BP, Fincher for Director, Portman for actress, Firth for actor and Bale for SActor.

    • Stiggy

      King's Speech is like to beat Social Network at the Baftas. Inception may beat Social Network at the Shockwave NME award.

      So Social Network won't win 'em all.

    • goavs

      agree 100%, how is Portman not going to win? She's a bigger lock than Bale imo. And this really is not a close race. The Social Network is so far ahead of these other flicks.

  • Stiggy

    My prediction is that True Grit will win due to King's Speech and Social Network splitting the biopic vote.

    I also think Rooster Cogburn (Jeff "The Dude" Bridges) may beat King George VI (Colin Firth) and Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) for the same reason.

    Alice in Wonderland, although it had the best costume design of all 2010 movies, will likely be beaten by True Grit in costume design.

    • goavs

      so I'm guessing you enjoyed True Grit?

      • Stiggy

        Funnily enough, True Grit hasn't come out in the UK yet. I am looking forward to it though. Will it be as "dumb" as Transformers? Maybe yes, maybe no.

      • goavs

        I have heard good things, but not great things

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Gerb/1340670067 Jon Gerb

      yes, King's Speech stirred the pot a bit after yesterdays media frenzy of "WOW 12 NOMINATIONS NOW ITS GOING TO WINNNNNNN!!!1 DOWN WITH FACEBOOOOOKKKK!!". i think that was a bit exaggerated. as mentioned above, take the case of Benjamin Button. 13 noms and 3 tech wins. i LOVED King's Speech beyond belief, but i think Social Network was THE movie of last year. it came out early in the awards season and all the way until the Oscar noms it had HUGE buzz and really swept all the smaller awards.

      as for best actor, although Bridges is Firth's top contender, i doubt he will take the Oscar. Eisenberg was ok as Zuck but i really cant even imagine him getting many votes. Firth(deservedly)should be up at the podium Feb. 27th, especially after not getting the Oscar last year.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

        Can you please explain to me what was so fantastic about The Social Network? I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. Sure it was a GREAT film, but to me looking back all I remember it as is one big long party.

  • goavs

    I would not be surprised if The King's Speech only went home with 1 Award(Best Actor). I think the film, like True Grit, are getting too much praise. Man, I thought The Social Network was getting to much praise, but now all I hear is True Grit and The King's Speech. If that's who the Academy picks, man they fvcked up. They first screw Nolan, and then they screw The Social Network out of Best Picture? If that happens, I am sending a "Film for Dumbies" book to every Academy member.

    I think Christian Bale is a lock for the win, if he does not win, that's a bigger screw job than Nolan getting the insult of no nomination. Firth is a lock; this is what the academy does, they screw you one year, but make up for it the next. Academy, CAN YOU JUST AWARD PEOPLE THE YEAR THEY DESERVE IT?

    I was so excited for this year's Oscars early on, but the Academy does what they do every year and screw it up. Can a new Award Show spring up because we know the Globes are a joke and the Oscars are becoming an even bigger joke. Ugh, I'm looking less and less forward to the Oscars everyday.

  • chewbaca69

    Your high if you think Bening is going to beat Portman and King's Speech is going to beat Social Network.

  • Elizabeth

    Annette Bening for Best Actress.
    The thing is Portman has chosen to campaign but Bening is barely. Therefore, there is a big chance Portman will win on the night. And that makes me sad.

    • Feedback

      Annette Benning is the PRESIDENT OF THE ACTING BRANCH OF THE ACADEMY.

      I think that says enough on why she's the favorite.

      • Stiggy

        Just because Bening is the president of the Acting branch, doesn't always mean she'll win.

        If that really was an advantage, it backfired, in a big way, in 2004/2005.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

        Makes me sad too :(

  • m1

    Winning one award does not mean that The King's Speech will win Best Picture. The Social Network is still the favorite, it's just less of a sure thing that it will win.

  • Alex G

    I saw this on the news last night: almost every Best Picture winner was nominated for five awards, these being either Best Actor or Best Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted or Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor or Actress, and Best Editing. True Grit is NOT nominated for Best Editing. The critic said that True Grit has little shot at winning Best Picture because of this.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Certainly, editing is a big one. I had a stat that I keep handy but can't seem to find it. I'll try and see if I can dig it up for when the Cinema Editors announce their awards.

      • Garrett79

        Ordinary People in 1980 was the most recent movie to win Best Pciture without a nomination for Best Editing. I will have the full list momentarily.

      • Garrett79

        Since the Best Editing category was established for the 1934 Academy Awards only 9 Best Picture winners have failed to earn a nomination for Best Editing (including It Happened One Night in 1934 when there were only 3 nominees).

        The 9 are It Happened One Night (1934), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), Hamlet (1948), Marty (1955), Tom Jones (1963), A Man for All Seasons (1966), The Godfather Part II (1974), Annie Hall (1977), and Ordinary People (1980).

        43 films have won Best Picture without winning Best Editing, most recently No Country for Old Men in 2007.

        I would suggest that True Grit's failure to earn an editing nomination dooms its chances for a Best Picture victory.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Well, looks like I know who I am crediting when I write up my next Oscar piece and mention this stat. Nice work, and yes, True Grit is most likely not going to win, but as far as betting lines go... it's still a good line for a small bet.

  • Casper

    Best Actor: Colin Firth
    Best Actress: Natalie Portman
    Best Spporting Actor: Christian Bale
    Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld (along with Leo she won most critics awards & she can surprise just like Anna Paquin did)
    Best Picture: The King's Speech

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

      I want Steinfeld to win so bad!!!!!!!

  • MajorFIlmFan

    Best Picture- King's Speech
    Best Actor- Collin Firth
    Best Screenplay- King's Speech
    Best Supporting Actor- Geoffrey Rush

  • Colin

    About the whole race being a bore thing. If Inception or True Grit had been the films sweeping everything, would you have felt the need to write that article Brad?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yes, as I stated in the article and many articles before and after... it had nothing to do with the films involved. I don't know how many times I have to say this.

      • beautifulm

        I think people are suggesting that you took it as an attack against TSN because....the race is always a bore, I mean it's not just Best picture it the acting categories as well. Every year it's the same thing, every year people whine about the frontrunner winning everything, so I mean why bother? This will happen next year and the year after that. I would rather talk about the films themselves then the probability that they have of winning an award. I don't mean to be rude, but I really don't know why people bother.

        No Offense Brad I'm just irritated.

    • Älskling

      The point of the article was that a contest is far less interesting when the winners are a foregone conclusion, and so far this year's awards season has epitomised that sentiment.

      • Colin

        If you have a bottle of red whine in front of you that you know is better than the rest are you really going to chose another bottle just to be different? I would hope not.

        Should you really reward a lesser film simply to keep the race interesting? I'll admit, the first year I really followed the oscar race was in 06 when it became a bit of a toss-up between Departed, Babel, and Little Miss Sunshine, and it was a fun race to follow. But one persons bore is another persons excitement. To see a film like The Social Network sweeping nearly everything, a film that features facebook, a film that no one had any confidence in a year ago, a film that's unconventional and go for the heart strings the way other films have. It's exciting to me. And it's equally as exciting to see it earning a record number of awards. That's more interesting then suggesting that the race is boring because one film is dominating the circuit.

      • Älskling

        Red "whine"? In that flawed analogy, you're saying there's no reason to choose any other wine because you think it's the best and therefore deserves to be chosen. That's really an analogy about preferences. The question then arises: Does drinking the same wine time and time again make meals less interesting?

        In a word: Yes. It is less interesting because it becomes commonplace and expected and yes, a bit boring. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.

        More to the point, if you have a steady and predictable march to victory, it might be somewhat interesting to see if the dominant competitor can pull it off, but it is far less compelling than a season where the competition is much more vigorous, where the outcome has a chance of surprising the audience. (Whether that domination is deserving is beside the point; the presumption is, of course, that it is.)

        To paraphrase you, Colin, "One person's excitement is another person's bore."

  • Winchester

    At the moment I see it going -

    Best Picture: The Social Network
    Best Director: David Fincher
    Best Actor: Colin Firth
    Best Actress: Natalie Portman
    Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
    Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld

    That said, an Oscar win for Best Picture for The King's Speech would not shock me either, and nor would True Grit sneaking in at the last gasp. I doubt Black Swan can take that award though.

    I'm pretty sure Firth has the Best Actor Award locked and Portman is pretty close to the same. I don't sense the same buzz round Bening that existed when TKAAR first came out and I think the GG is her prize this year.

    Everyone seems to be thinking Fincher will get Best Director because he is 'due' - which is fine, since that would be a similar reason Bening might win, and the Academy does that frequently enough anyway, though since in the Best Actress side they did that last year with Bullock they might not want to so obviously repeat that again. I understand the argument that Firth should have won last year as well, but I think no-one would call it a sympathy for that win if he does this year, the performance in TKS is too good itself for that to be fair - and I'm not going to argue with that since it seems on the money.

  • Geri

    Absolutely agree. The King's Speech is outstanding. Haven't talked to anyone who didn't LOVE it, while everyone LIKED The Social Network.

  • goavs

    Picture: The Social Network
    Director: Fincher (should be Nolan)
    Actor: Firth
    Actress: Portman
    S Actor: Bale
    S Actress: Leo
    Original Screenplay: Nolan, Inception
    Adapt Screenplay: Sorkin

  • Leandro Dubost

    Man, if Nolan doesn't win Best Screeplay, the internerd will be ON FIRE the next day. =P

  • Steve J

    The big wildcard Oscar night is Hailee Steinfeld.

  • Scott M

    As a guy who spends a lot of time around gambling and movies, I've observed over the last couple years that most of these Oscar bets are total sucker bets. You risk WAY too much on the "sure thing" bets for way too little payoff, and the good odds are only on the nominees with almost no chance of winning.

    The best bet I saw was Bodog currently has 1/2 on The Social Network (according to this article somewhere had 2/3, which would be even better). That might be worth a bet, but other sites have as bad as 1/6 for Social Network. Also, Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress might be worth a bet too.

    I believe making bets on things makes just about anything more fun, but even I stay away from Oscar bets. Seems like a great way to turn a guaranteed fun night into a pain in the ass.

  • Morgan

    True Grit has no Editing nom.

    Black Swan has no Screenplay nom.

    Inception has no Directing or Editing nom.

    The chances of any of those films winning is slim to none.

  • Feedback

    Hahahahaaha DENIAL much?

    The Social Network is winning. That's that.

    I know you have the right to an opinion, but predictions and opinions are different.

    Let's make a deal. WHEN (not if) The Social Network wins, you'll write "All hail Feedback" at the end of your live recap.

  • Carson Dyle

    It'll be a sad, sad state of affairs if True Grit wins... anything.

  • Carson Dyle

    Apart from cinematography of course, not that it's the best, but Deakins is overdue.

  • Ian

    I updated my Oscar predictions yesterday and moved The King's Speech to the front, but honestly that was probably more because I was in a fit of rage over Inception and Nolan getting a giant fuck you. Honestly I feel like The King's Speech is the big talked about film at this point in time. But if you look back at three of the last four years, there was a film that came on strong in January that made the race interesting, but ultimately the early favorite still won. Those films would be Avatar, Juno, and Little Miss Sunshine That last one is a bit of a stretch, plus The Departed was hardly the favorite in December, so that year maybe isn't the best comparison. But I do remember when it came down to the Oscars it seemed to be The Departed vs. Little Miss Sunshine. Of course the whole monkey wrench in that theory is that none of those films were particularly Academy friendly, while The King's Speech is about the most Academy friendly film I can think of in recent memory (costume drama about a guy who overcomes a disability...both have been done to death, and frankly in my opinion, done better). And of course this has the almighty Harvey Weinstein dollar behind it. So yes, it could be that The King's Speech just rides on in from here and practically sweeps the Oscars, but I kind of doubt that. Fincher should win easily at the DGAs, which will be a bit of a boost for The Social Network. The SAGs are huge, as we've all been saying for a couple weeks now. The Fighter should win, which would basically be no different than Basterds winning there last year. It would establish it as the dark horse third candidate should some kind of a split vote thing happen, but that's all. Of course if The Social Network or The King's Speech wins, that would be a HUGE boost for either film, and maybe even insurmountable for the other, since the actors make up such a huge portion of the Academy. The King's Speech will sweep at the BAFTAs, which will be an attention boost for it. Honestly the most likely scenario is probably that we have a legitimate neck-in-neck race Oscar night, which hasn't really happened since 04-05 (Million Dollar Baby vs. The Aviator), which would certainly make for compelling viewing. The interesting thing in that case is it could come down to a lobby for votes, and it'd be hard to bet against the Weinstein machine then. Plus Sony hasn't really had to lobby for The Social Network since it's been dominating so much, so it'll be interesting to see what they do if they all of a sudden have to spend February lobbying for a Best Picture award they looked to have wrapped up just a week and a half ago. But I'll probably keep The Social Network at the top unless something insane happens, such as an upset at the DGAs or SAGs.

    And as far as the notion that Rush or Hooper could upset in their categories...I think that's taking things a bit too far. It was always going to be the most nominated film, which is certainly good for buzz (and being the type of film it is and having Weinstein behind it always help as I've said), but it's not like all the awards The Social Network has racked up have disappeared all of a sudden. For Rush and/or Hooper to win (in which case I'd probably turn the show off in disgust...I just don't see a case for Rush giving a better performance than Bale, and I could name at least ten films I thought had more accomplished directing than The King's Speech), at that point you're talking about The King's Speech moving into Ben-Hur/Titanic/Return of the King territory. I know they love the film and may well give it Best Picture, but I really don't see them pushing it up with those others. Or fuck it, maybe they let it break the glass ceiling and win all twelve.

    Regarding the other races...actress probably comes down to who wins at the SAGs. She'll be my frontrunner from then on. Supporting actress should also continue to be shored up there...though if Adams somehow wins and it looks like there could be a split vote scenario I'd probably put my money on Carter being the beneficiary over Steinfeld. If Leo wins the SAG it's likely done, if Steinfeld does she's then in the thick of things. I don't see Carter winning at the SAGs.

    Finally regarding True Grit...I feel like the buzz on that has cooled off. Nomination ballots were out when it was peaking during that Christmas-New Year's period; that plus Coen love I think is part of why it got so many nominations. But not being up at the Globes really hurt it I think, and I'd say it probably only wins cinematography.

    And as far as odds, or the order of my Best Picture nominees...after yesterday I have Inception dead last and it's staying there. Toy Story has a better chance of winning Best Picture.

    • Stiggy

      Recently we have seen Harvy Weinstein's plans backfire on numerous occasions.

      Cases in point

      The Aviator had more nominations in it's year than eventual BP winner Million Dollar Baby

      Chocolat got shut out in it's year.

      Gangs of New York got 10 nominations and didn't win a single one of them. To put that in layment terms, The Golden Compass: 1 Gans of New York: 0

      Why do people think that his plans won't backfire this time?

  • http://www.dregstudios.com Brandt

    No surprises here really other than Christopher Nolan getting snubbed in the Best Director category. I thought The Social Network was severely overrated and got most of its attention due to the subject matter rather than the movie as a whole. I'm a big David Fincher fan and he's never let me down. Good movie but it didn't make my Top Ten. I thought Howl was by far the best movie of the year with its combination of animation, acting (James Franco as Allen Ginsberg), and cinematography. You can check out my list on my artist's blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2010/12/top-10-movie-picks-of-2010.html

  • Eric

    Brad, why do you have Helena Bonham Carter so high up on your list? I do think it's possible that another nominee could beat Leo. Adams or Steinfeld maybe, but not Helena Bonham Carter. Was that an oversight or do you actually think she has a chance?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I actually think she has a chance, but don't agree with it.

  • Nitin

    Strictly IMO, I found The Social Network, True Grit, The Fighter and 127 hours just above average when compared to Inception. So I'm depressed at how Inception has been snubbed. Though it managed to bag 8 nominations, how many is it actually going win? Not more than a couple is my guess.
    And since it is obviously not going to win Best Picture, I'm hoping against hope that Toy Story wins it.

  • A-K87

    True Grit hasn't been released here in the UK do I can't judge the film bit I seriously have a problem with a re-imagining/re-adaptation garnering so much praise.

    I shal what John Wayne's before I go to the cinema to see Jeff Wayne's.

  • http://joker93.livejournal.com Nick

    The Social Network will win it. I'm amazed how all it's taken for The King's Speech to somehow "shift the tides" was a Producers' Guild Award... The Social Network won 20 critics' awards compared to The king's Speech 1 (one), in addition to sweeping the Globes and a $95 million (soon to be $100 million) box office. If it had won a Producers' Guild Award, The King's Speech's chance to win Best Picture would have been absolutely destroyed. Demolished. Now it's simply better, but I would say The Social Network stands probably a 75% chance to win BP with The King's Speech's 24% and any other film's 1%.

    The King's Speech is hot right now because it's starting to rack up in box-office and won one important award. The Social Network has steadily kept the momentum ever since its first screenings in September all the way to Golden Globes. Naturally right now it doesn't get so much attention, but it's done its job already. When Fincher wins at the Directors' guild, it's going to pop up again. And he's gonna win it. To suggest that Hooper is any kind of serious competition is a joke.

    P.S. If Annette Bening wins over Natalie Portman, it will be the worst case of a "career Oscar" ever since Al Pacino lost for The Godfather Part II and Art Carney won for Harry and Tonto. Bening's performance was fine but it'll be forgotten within a year or two, it's a guaranteed thing.

    • A-K87

      totally agree with everything especially the Benning comment.

    • Kevin

      What a stupid and insensitive comment about Annette Bening. To a lot of people, her performance and that film ("The Kids Are All Right), will NOT be forgotten within a year or two. And to call her win (if it actually happens) a "career Oscar" is even more ridiculous. Annette Bening's work gets better and better with each film. I believe her best work is ahead of her, with more Oscar nominations possible. She has been one of the front runners for the Oscar this entire year because of a GREAT performance. And for people to dismiss or dog it, well, you figure it out...

      • http://joker93.livejournal.com Nick

        Opinions aside (by the way I loved the movie as a whole), here are facts:

        - Portman won an overwhelming majority of critics' awards, as good early precursor as any
        - Plus, a Golden Globe
        - She would generally be considered a favorite among most people who watched both films
        - Bening was nominated three times before
        - She's the president of the acting branch of the Academy

        If Portman wins SAGs and then Bening wins an Oscar, it would be unarguably a career Oscar. If Bening wins SAGs - I'd say most Academy members will still vote for her career more than for her individual performance in Kids Are All Right.

        I get it though, you're a fan of Annette Bening. Nothing wrong with that. For me, her performance in Kids is perfectly fine but probably the least impressive of the whole cast, and American Beauty is her best work. That was Oscar-worthy. This isn't. Just my opinion, but I think it's fair to say more people would agree with me than disagree.

    • Garrett79

      The Golden Globes mean absolutely nothing in predicint ght Oscars. The Producers Guild, on the other hand, is one of the best predictors there is.

      The King's Speech has become the favorite because the industry has voted for it. The industry chooses the Oscars, not critics. That is a very important thing to remember. The Globes and the critics awards are not voted for by anyone who votes in the Academy. Frankly, I will be shocked if The Social Network tops The King's Speech on Oscar night for that very reason.

  • Brian

    Question for Brad and everyone: does the manner in which the Academy tabulates votes for Best Picutre have the possibility of playing a role in the outcome of the vote? I presume that all other awards are given on the basis of a simple majority.

  • tomandshell

    I think Portman will win Best Actress. It seems like the Academy likes to recognize more glamorous younger actresses, often at the expense of older ones. In recent years, we've seen Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, etc. It's a lot harder for women in their 50s and up to get the votes, unless you're British like Helen Mirren. Even Supporting Actress goes to Rachel Weisz, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Connelly, Angelina Jolie, etc. Academy votes go to photogenic women under the age of 40.

  • Central Ohio

    How great is it that Trent Reznor will probably win an oscar. Even though there's a piece of music on 'The Social Network' soundtrack that was released on 'Nine Inch Nails' all instrumental double-album called 'Ghosts' that came out a few years ago.

    • Woody

      Toy Story 3 was the best picture of the year. In this overcrowded field, it will emerge the rightful winner. Better made, better acted and better written than any of the others. Book it.

      • Garrett79

        I actually think it has a chance. If any animated movie is ever going to win then this is the one to do it. It would be essentially a career trophy for Pixar, rewarding them for 15 years of quality movie-making. No one has a track record like them (Cars is generally agreed to be their worst movie, but is still seen as being pretty darn good). It's true that they won the special Oscar for Toy Story in 1995 and have had 5 Best Animated Feature Oscars and a handful of Best Animated Shorts Oscars (none since 2001; though I expect that to change this year), but it would be nice to reward them with the end of the Toy Story series and then everyone can move on and we never have to consider a cartoon for Best Picture again.

  • A-K87

    For anybody to dismiss the possibility of a Bening career Oscar: You really are blinded by your own fanaticism.
    Nobody is saying that Bening is a bad actress or that she was terrible in The Kids Are Alright. What we are saying is that Portman has (in the majority's opinion) pulled off the best female lead performance this year and that (in the majority's opinion) Bening's was inferior. What we suggest is that BECAUSE Bening has been beaten by Swank twice and there is perhaps a growing trend of younger rather than older actresses winning, Bening may be given the win undeservedly because of her excellent career. In my opinion, if one suggests that this sort of thing hasn't happened before, they are off their head.

  • Gina

    I don't want to jinx it or anything :-) , but I've thought all along that "The King's Speech" was going to take it, and I still think so. It's a truly magnificent movie, the best I've seen in years.

  • http://www.theoscarhut.blogspot.com Tyler J. Pratt

    I'm still pulling for The Social Network, hoping that Academy members can connect the dots and at least get what the film does so wonderfully. Check out more of my predictions over at The Oscar Hut! Coming out of hibernation after about 6 months, were officially relaunching this upcoming Groundhog Day, so heres hoping the blog sees its shadow!

    • Gina

      What DOES the film do so wonderfully? I'm not snarking, I'm genuinely curious. I want to see it but haven't had the chance yet -- Netflix is telling me I can't have it for a couple more weeks. Honestly, from all I've seen and heard, I don't think I'm going to like it nearly as much as "The King's Speech." Still, I do want to see it and find out where all the hype is coming from.

  • Woody

    Look at it as a handicapper would. Think of the field of ten like a horse race. The field is crowded with average horses. The King's Speech, Social Network, The Fighter, 127 Hours are all nice films, and True Grit is a bit better. But they are basically filler. Toy Story 3, on the other hand is unique in this field. And I have yet to meet two people in a row who don't like it. You watch. If Disney puts any kind of campaign together at all, I think it walks away with the statue. As well it should. None of the others is close in quality.

  • http://shouldiseeit.net Mike Ward

    Thank you Brad for giving everyone access to "Exit Through The Gift Shop"! Not one commenter mentioned it (sorry if I missed someone), but even though "Restrepo" made my Top 10 list, "Exit..." is one of the most thoroughly entertaining films of 2010.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

    Can someone please explain to me how The Fighter is a better film than Blue Valentine? Really, Academy? :|

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherie-Kashmira/1618345805 Sherie Kashmira

      (sorry, but just to add)
      To me it's like last year when they tried to persuade us that The Blind Side was better than The White Ribbon, A Prophet and, most importantly, 500 Days of Summer

  • Ed of WEHO

    Totally agree with you: The King's Speech, Firth, Bening, Bale and Leo. It would be awesome to see these winners next time.

  • L. Bulett

    Unless one is hung up on the royalty G. Rush is no competition to C. Bale. Christian's acting is incredible. If he does not get an Oscar than let's change name from Academy Awards to Political Convection.