A few weeks ago we
boldly picked the 10 movies the Academy will nominate for Best
Picture, and at the time we'd seen, like, 7 or 8 of them. Now we turn
our attention to the four top acting awards -- Best Actor, Best
Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress -- and predict
those as well.
Conventional wisdom is holding that the stars of The
Kings Speech will dominate, but as the Academy tries to
broaden its audience and appeal, we think Best Actor will go to
someone starring in a movie
people will actually see, but still do well for the supporting
roles. Take a look at our picks, then pick your own winners in the
Why Them? Eisenberg, Franco, Firth, and Bardem each get nominations; you can take that to the bank. Upsetting other current front-runners like Robert Duvall (Get Low) and Jeff Bridges (True Grit) is Mark Wahlberg, who pulls off the best performance in a movie filled with great actors (The Fighter). Plus he trained for over two years for the role, and it totally looks like it.
James Franco Wins Because: He singlehandedly makes 127 Hours great, and self-amputation is a bigger deal than overcoming a speech impediment.
Who's Bumming Out: Colin Firth is the fashionable pick this year after not winning for his excellent performance in last year's A Single Man, but as the Academy tries to de-snob itself, so goes Firth's chances at a top award like Best Actor.
Why Them? Diane Lane isn't on many people's nominations list which makes no sense because she's this year's Sandra Bullock, who won the prize last year (The Blind Side). No love, either, for Naomi Watts who out-duels Sean Penn (how many actors can say that?) in Fair Game, a movie right in line with The Academy's politics. The Black Swan will get snubbed for Best Picture but not Portman in a demanding role. Hathaway is the adorable people's choice who's tossed in with no real chance.
Best Supporting Actor
Julianne Moore/Annette Bening Win Because: Annette Bening has been nominated three times, Julianne Moore four. Whether either of their performances in The Kids Are All Right are Oscar-worthy are debatable, but The Academy will pull a Paul Newman (The Color of Money) and hand the statue to one of them.
Who's Bumming Out: The loser of the Annette Bening/Julianne Moore competition for the Best Actress nomination.
Why Them? Rush and Renner look to be shoo-ins, and it seems like Christian Bale is too; the fact that he's never been nominated is an injustice The Academy will finally rectify this year. Malkovich gets the nod primarily for the Sandra Bullock/Diane Lane factor noted above. He also happened to be darn good in The Secretariat. The twist that will surprise most everyone is Justin Timberlake, who stole every scene in The Social Network.
Best Supporting Actress
Geoffrey Rush Wins Because: Colin Firth gets snubbed for Best Actor.
Who's Bumming Out: Christian Bale because he lost 60+ pounds and thinned his hair to play a drug addict, and all he got was this lousy nomination.
Why Them? If you threw darts at a board you might do better than our predictions, based primarily on pedigree (Wiest) and the projects they're associated with, like Hailee Steinfeld because she's starring in the Coen Brothers' True Grit our pick to win Best Picture. Same goes for Leo (The Fighter) and Dickey, star of Winter's Bone a critic darling that gained almost no traction with audiences.
Helena Bonham Carter Wins Because: The Academy cannot resist giving the award to a fine British actress playing the Queen.
Who's Bumming Out: Melissa Leo, who could get a nomination for either The Fighter or Welcome to the Rileys but will leave empty handed.
How did we do? Drop us a comment with your nominations below.