Because he watched all 10 nominees, making him an expert or something…
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Jan. 25 its nominations for the prestigious Oscars. The academy selects 10 nominees for best picture, among a litany of awards for all aspects of professional filmmaking. Now, almost a month before the awards ceremony, I will tell you who is going to win.
LIKELY TO WIN
Like a mouthful of sand, “True Grit,” a Coen brothers remake of the classic western, is among the films most likely to win an Oscar for best picture. Jeff Bridges played a U.S. Marshal, warrning a nod for lead actor in this film, though he’s fresh off an Oscar-win and likely to be overshadowed this year. Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld is favored to win for supporting actress, but stiff competition could make her category a five-way tie.
Colin Firth’s staggering stammering in “The King’s Speech” launched the film into 2010 Oscar royalty with an astounding 12 nominations for everything from art direction to original screenplay. King George VI of England (played by Firth) overcame a speech impediment with the help of his unconventional speech therapist. Americans contributed more than $60 million to the film’s box office earnings, which total some $110 million wuh-wuh-worldwide.
In “Black Swan,” Natalie Portman plays a professional ballet dancer who must find the darkness within herself to play the antagonist in her company’s production of Swan Lake. The quality film resembled a certain blockbusting thriller released in 1999: The first rule of “Black Swan” is, you do not talk about “Black Swan.”
Not unlike the film that shall not be named, “Inception” ranks among the 2010 box office hits most likely to mess with your head. In spite of its truly inventive script with widespread popular appeal, Director Christopher Nolan never fully escaped the action genre. Thus, “Inception” is not favored to win best picture. With seven other nominations, though, Nolan’s masterpiece is bound to win something.
That one Facebook movie, I mean “The Social Network,” deserves its Oscar nomination. But does it have the wow-factor it needs to actually win? I don’t think so, and that’s all that matters.
“The Fighter” has an original storyline about universal struggles such as drug use and angst between one’s family and one’s career. Being a gritty film about boxers (the athletes, not their underpants), “The Fighter” fits too neatly into the sports-film genre and will likely be KO’d by a competitor with an artsy flair.
UNLIKELY TO WIN
“Winter’s Bone” leads the list of nominees least likely to win best Picture. The film is well-written, well-cast and well-acted. But it is slow. Hollywood films tend to be more spectacular, and Academy Awards tend to go to flashy blockbusters instead of well-made, understated movies with back-country motifs, leaving “Winter’s Bone” out in the cold.
I’d rather hack off my own arm than watch James Franco do so to his. “127 Hours” forced me to do one of the two. I think it would be best for this 1990s-music-video-style cliff- hanger to get wedged in the canyon of Oscar nominations and not live happily ever after.
“Toy Story 3” is “99 percent certified fresh,” according to the critics on RottenTomatoes. com. Children of all ages appreciate the depth of the story. But the bottom line is that the film is a children’s film. It will likely win best animated feature, but it will not likely win best picture.
“The Kids Are All Right” explores the complexity found in many modern American homes. The daughter of a lesbian couple chooses to meet her biological father, introducing a love triangle between her father and two moms. The original film deserves all four of its nominations, but this indie flick is a bit too indie to win best picture.
The awards ceremony will take place Feb. 27. And remember: If this year’s best picture is not one of the films I predicted to win (“True Grit,” “The King’s Speech” or “Black Swan”), I didn’t make a mistake, the academy did.