25 Oscar Nominees Who Should Win This Year ...

By Talynn

True, there are only 24 categories, but I’m going to create my own “Biggest Snub” nominee at the end just to fully feel like I’ve said my peace. Just like every other year the top critics make their predictions for the year’s biggest wins, snubs, and dark horse candidates, and I’m no different. Let the surmising begin!

1 Best Picture

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• “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
• “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, Producer

My money is on “The Social Network” because it’s one of those rare commercial and critical successes that actually lives up to the hype, plus everyone knows the academy loves director David Fincher. “The King’s Speech” could upset since it’s one of those boring looking dramas that no one went to see, and we know the academy loves that too.

2 Best Actor in a Leading Role

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• Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
• Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
• Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
• Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
• James Franco in “127 Hours”

This is the toughest one to call. People are saying big things about Colin Firth, but my personal favorite is James Franco. Don’t be surprised if Jeff Bridges sneaks away with this win playing the same role The Duke bought his with.

3 Best Actress in a Leading Role

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• Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
• Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
• Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
• Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
• Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

No brainer. Natalie Portman WILL win this one.

4 Best Actor in a Supporting Role

• Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
• 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”

This really is Christian Bale’s Oscar to lose. I can’t imagine him not winning, however Geoffrey Rush has been receiving a lot of buzz so who knows.

5 Best 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”
• Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom

I’d like to see Hailee Steinfeld win this one, but I think everyone is on fairly equal footing here.

6 Best Director

• “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
• “The Fighter” David O. Russell
• “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
• “The Social Network” David Fincher
• “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

This is a tough one to call. The academy loves a number of these contenders, but my money is on David Fincher, though I wouldn’t bet the farm.

7 Best 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
• “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
• “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Inception was the most original movies last year so I’m crossing my fingers for Christopher Nolan. Good luck; he’s going to need it.

8 Best Animated Feature

• How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
• “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
• “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Toy Story 3 has this hands down, with out a down. Bet big, I will be.

9 Art Direction

• “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
• “Inception” 
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
• “The King's Speech” 
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
• “True Grit” 
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Alice and Wonderland has a shot as does True Grit, but I’m singling out Inception. Chris Nolan’s team deserves some praise.

10 Cinematography

• Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
• “Inception” Wally Pfister
• “The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
• “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
• “True Grit” Roger Deakins

True Grit was amazing looking, but I’d have to consider Inception to be the most beautiful. I’ll go with True Grit.

11 Costume Design

• “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
• “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
• “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
• “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
• “True Grit” Mary Zophres

I’m guessing that the most work went into Alice and Wonderland, but that movie was heavily animated, so let’s go with True Grit for another win because it’s just so amazingly well done all the way around.

12 Feature Documentary

• “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
• “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

Exit Through the Gift Shop is my favorite to win. Waste Land could pull this one out, but my fingers are crossed for Exit just to see how Banksy handles the speech.

13 Short Documentary

• “Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
• “Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
• “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

I haven’t seen a single one of these, and I’m willing to bet that none of us ever will. My favorite title is The Warriors of Qiugang, so I’m going for that one.

14 Film Editing

Film EditingImage source: thebeautysleuth.com

• “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
• “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
• “The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
• “127 Hours” Jon Harris
• “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

I have a feeling that Black Swan will win this one, but I’m call The Fighter the dark horse.

15 Foreign Language Film

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• “Biutiful” Mexico
• “Dogtooth” Greece
• “In a Better World” Denmark
• “Incendies” Canada
• “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

Biutifil is the only one that I’ve actually seen so this one gets the win.

16 Makeup

• “Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
• “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
• “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

The Wolfman has to win this one. Although CG was used in that movie, Benicio looked incredible in that makeup

17 Original Musical Score

Original Musical ScorePhoto Credit: Negro & White

• “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
• “Inception” Hans Zimmer
• “The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
• “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
• “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

I would like to see has Hans Zimmer win this, but my gut says Trent Reznor.

18 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

Randy Johnson will always have a special place in my heart, but I have to go with “I See The Light.” 127 Hours had about a perfect fit for music as you can get.

19 Animated Short Film

• “Day & Night” Teddy Newton
• “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

I haven’t seen any of these. I wonder if the folks who actually vote have either. Madagascar offers fond memories, so I’m hoping for that one.

20 Live Action Short Film

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• “The Confession” Tanel Toom
• “The Crush” Michael Creagh
• “God of Love” Luke Matheny
• “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
• “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Same thing. Where would one ever find these? Good luck to The Crush.

21 Sound Editing

• “Inception” Richard King
• “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

I’ll bet you all the tea in China, that Inception takes this one home. I mean, how can it not?

22 Sound Mixing

• “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
• “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

Why is The King’s Speech on this list? Inception should win this one as well, but The Social Network could pull it out too.

23 Visual Effects

• “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 Trojanski and Joe Farrell
• “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
• “Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

My top two to win this one are Inception and Iron Man 2. Cities crumbling and turning onto themselves or flying robots… Inception for the win.

24 Best Adapted Screenplay

• “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
• “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

This one is a slightly tough call. Winter’s Bone was a powerful movie, but I haven’t read the book so it’s hard for me to say there. 127 Hours is pretty deserving, but The Social Network is definitely my pick.

25 Biggest Snub

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That award goes hands down to Christopher Nolan for Inception. The man made the smartest, most original, and visually striking film of the past year and he didn’t get even a nod from the academy for directing. His famous snub of The Dark Knight in 2009 lead to the expansion of the best picture category to ten nominees. When is the academy going to realize this guy has the chops and give him some love?

Who are you rooting for this year?

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