Who Should Win at the Oscars?
Let's start with Best Actor. I think Colin Firth should win for his amazing performance as the Duke of York in THE KING'S SPEECH. The Duke is second in line for the throne, but he stammers and stutters and fails miserably when he has to read a speech on the radio. His wife sets him up with a speech therapist, a commoner played by Geoffrey Rush, and their relationship is the real focus of the film. Not only does the future King of England learn how to speak properly, but he experiences his first ever friendship with a man.
Supporting Actor: I support the front runner, Christian Bale who appears to have this category locked up. He plays a once great fighter who is now a drug addict and advisor to his younger brother (Mark Wahlberg) in THE FIGHTER. Bale is over the top in the role but in a good way. And for maybe the third time in his career, he lost a massive amount of weight so he would really look like the character he plays.
Best Actress: The likely winner is Natalie Portman who is very good, but my vote goes to Michelle Williams who in BLUE VALENTINE plays a young woman in a doomed relationship. Williams turns herself inside out for this performance in one of the best (and overlooked) movies of the year.
Best Supporting Actress: This race appears to be a toss up between Melissa Leo in THE FIGHTER and Hailee Steinfeld in TRUE GRIT. Leo was the clear front runner until she placed her own ads in the trade papers with photos of herself looking glamorous. It was a curious move since she's known for looking worn out and old in her best movies. (FROZEN RIVER is an example.) In THE FIGHTER she's the mother of Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. Her character is a feisty, dominating floozy with bad hair. I think she'll still win, but my pick would be Jackie Weaver in ANIMAL KINGDOM, another over looked film. It's about the coming apart of a crime family. She's the deliciously evil mother of several slime balls.
Best Animated Film: No competition here. TOY STORY 3 is terrific. Great for kids and great for adults. THE ILLUSIONIST is an art film (visual poetry) for people who think the high point of filmmaking happened 50 years ago.
Best Picture: For me, hands down, it's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Original Screenplay: also THE KING'S SPEECH.
Adapted Screenplay: THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Aaron Sorkin knows how to write great dialogue.
Best Director: Tom Hooper for THE KING'S SPEECH. I've never understood why so often the director the Best Picture doesn't win for Best Director.
I know a lot of people (especially those who are under forty) think INCEPTION was a great film. I think much of it was brilliant, but for me it was too much of a good thing. I enjoyed the first third of the film, but about half way through, its excesses wore me out.