I'm leaving it pretty late this year, but here are my picks for the Oscars this year. By the time anyone reads this, they'll be over and done with, but that ain't gonna stop me!
So, here are my predictions - join me in a few days to see if I was right;
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” - Gotta be the Firth. He was pipped to the post this year, so this year he'll Dench it.
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” - It should be Geoffrey Rush, but it feels like Bale's year.
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”
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” - Natalie Portman. She's pretty damned good in this... and she's pregnant.
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
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” - I don't think Steinfeld will win, but she should. She's amazing. Melissa Leo (never heard of her) has some buzz behind her, and kudos to HBC for not gothing about all year and actually doing some acting.
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich - If you've seen it, you know why.
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan - Too close to call, but I'm going for Potter because... well, it's always looked amazing.
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister - If there's any justice in the world, this film will win everything it's up for. True Grit and Black Swan are (in my humble opinion) contenders, but Inception did what the Matrix did - it changed the grammar of cinema.
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres - Gotta be this film. Watching Rooster is his long johns, you genuinely believe that Jeff Bridges wore them for a straight year. How much the ming is a testament to the skill of Zophres.
“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher - With neither Inception nor 127 Hours in the running, I've got to go for Fincher. Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac... all amazing. But to turn "The Facebook Movie" into a must see event is nothing short of miraculous.
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz - The Only one I've seen, but bloody good.
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein - I like the idea of someone called 'Jed' winning an oscar.
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris - Again, fairness doesn't seem to be a part of the Oscars, but this IS the Best Edited Film of the Year (Social Network is the closest contender, Black Swan a fairly distant third). Again, how to take a guy trapped in one place and make it that exciting is a mark of genius.
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” Mexico - Plain guess.
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng - SAOIRSE RONAN'S FEET!!!
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer - Amazing. No regrets choosing this film. No regrets at all.
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman - I'm gonna go for this rather than A. R. Rahman, just because of the Toy Story Name. I think this will be another Dench.
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers - 10 Wonderful films, a really strong year for this category. I'll be happy whoever wins, but I really want either this or Inception. I'm going for 127 Hours because Inception wasn't nominated for the Editing gong.
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton - Because, Pixar. Come on!
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois
Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt - Guess work.
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
“Inception” Richard King - All strong contenders, but I think Inception uses sound in a much more integral way than the rest, and it works.
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick - See above.
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb - Potter might pip it (the Multi-Potter scene is good) but Inception is both slick and imaginative. The Mirrors on the bridge, the folding city, the Sand-scrapers... it's breathtaking.
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy - I'm gonna go with this given how impressively they take a very uncinematic concept and write a realt treatise to self-realization and facing ones own mortality. Plus, y'know, Danny Boyle is one of the greatest filmmakers around.
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan - Must be Inception. Must be, must be, must be.
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler