Share |

Chris Pandolfi predicts the winners and shares his thoughts on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Did your favorite make his list?

Written by Chris Pandolfi

And the Oscar goes to...

Itís Oscar time again, and while for many the 83rd Annual Academy Awards equates to little more than a showcase for designer clothing and lists for the best and worst dressed, for me its a celebration of the movies. Does that sound corny? I've already chimed in about my best (and worst) films of 2010, and still hold to the belief that the Oscars mean something. Besides, many of the Academyís selections have given me reason to keep the faith; 127 Hours, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit, Toy Story 3, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, The Kingís Speech, and The Social Network were all great movies, and fortunately, they've all been recognized. What I would like to do here is offer a quick rundown of the major categories and, as best I can, offer my predictions who will win - and why.

So how will it turn out? I guess youíll just have to join me and the rest of America as we tune our TVs and browsers to watch the Oscars this Sunday, February 27th and, along with hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, find out for yourselves. But until then, here's my personal predictions and thoughts on who will take home the gold.

First, the Best Picture category. Despite a total of ten nominated films, itís quite obvious at this point it will come down to just two: The Social Network and The Kingís Speech. There was a time when I was convinced the former would have absolutely no competition, given its timely subject matter, its engaging characters, its clever editing, and its smart and witty screenplay (and let me just say, if Aaron Sorkin doesnít win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, I will be personally affronted). It also has already won four Golden Globes (including Best Motion Picture Ė Drama), two BAFTA Awards (including Best Director), four Critics Choice Awards, and three Satellite Awards. If this movie wins, itís very likely there will also be an award in there somewhere for director David Fincher.

BuBut with all the attention The Kingís Speech has been getting, itís not as clear cut for me as it once was. It has certainly done well in the acting department; as King George VI, Colin Firth has already won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award, and the entire cast took home a SAG Award. It also outweighs The Social Network in the number of nominations - twelve, as opposed to eight. How do I make a prediction? Both are wonderful films, and they each landed a spot on my ten best of 2010 list. In terms of relevancy, audacity, and sheer entertainment, it seems to me that The Social Network is more deserving. In terms of performance and earned emotional impact, then I would favor The Kingís Speech, as well as director Tom Hooper. This is going to depend entirely on what mood the Academy is in.

Now, on to the acting categories - which, for the last two years, has been very easy to predict. On the basis of award wins, critical assessment, and general media buzz, hereís how Iím certain it will go down: Best Actor, Colin Firth for The Kingís Speech; Best Actress, Natalie Portman for Black Swan; Best Supporting Actor, Christian Bale for The Fighter; Best Supporting Actress, Melissa Leo for The Fighter. Itís difficult to speculate on potential upsets, in part because I missed Jacki Weaverís performance in Animal Kingdom, but mostly because I feel every other nominee is deserving (including Bale and Leo, and I didnít even like The Fighter). But itís highly unlikely there will be any upsets, so why get into it?

Let me now take a moment to discuss a couple of the other nominees, not for their potential at the Oscars, but strictly on a personal level. Although Iím certain it will not win, I was pleased that Winterís Bone was recognized both as a Best Picture contender and for Jennifer Lawrenceís performance. It was one of the best hidden gems of the summer, and now that itís on DVD, Iím happy to know it will reach a wider audience. The same goes for The Kids Are All Right, one of the most honest and compelling examinations of family and the institution of marriage; apart from Best Picture and Best Actress (Annette Benning), it has also been recognized for its funny and heartfelt original screenplay. What do I think will actually win this award? Although Inception was a masterful work of science fiction, and although Another Year was strong in character, thereís no doubt in my mind it will be The Kingís Speech - or, more accurately, its writer, David Seidler.

I canít speak for everyone, but Iím canít wait for Sunday night. I hope youíll be tuning in with me - provided, of course, that youíre actually interested in the nominees and not so much in the Red Carpet fashion. Unless I see a glaring disaster along the lines of Bjork or Trey Parker and Matt Stone, then I can honestly say that I donít much care who will be wearing what. The fact that we put so much effort into noticing that is actually a little disconcerting to me. Itís about the movies, not the dress such and such an actress is wearing. If you want to gawk at designer clothing and scrutinize every little detail, might I suggest an episode of Project Runway?

- AFTER-SHOW UPDATE -

Well, the show's over and it seems my predictions in the acting categories were all correct. Congratulations to Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo. As for Best Picture, I was wise to not pin myself down with a definite prediction, although I was right in that it would be a toss-up between The Social Network and The King's Speech. It ultimately went to the latter, and it also earned director Tom Hooper a Best Director Oscar. Congratulations to him and his cast and crew.

As for the show itself, the staging and set designs were superb, and Anne Hathaway did a decent job - and proved she has an incredible singing voice. Her co-host, Best Actor nominee James Franco, was a little too detached from the whole thing. Was he nervous? Was he under the influence? Or was he not taking the show seriously? Whatever the case, it can't possibly be a good sign when the most memorable thing he could do was briefly appear in drag - as Marilyn Monroe, no less.



Share |




Knowing a Good Story When You Hear One
Read More!
An Ape at War
Read More!
The X-Man That Got an R
Read More!
The Horror of Race Relations
Read More!
Assembling Another Disappointment
Read More!
James Baldwin in His Own Words
Read More!
Please Tell Me This Isn't the Start of a Franchise
Read More!
Not Your Capraesque American Dream
Read More!
Real Life Lessons from a Fantasy Creature
Read More!
Early, Early, Early Risers
Read More!
Henson's Puzzling Coming-of-Age Story
Read More!
This Is Not a Muppet Movie
Read More!
The Tagline Is Absolutely Correct
Read More!
So Simple, It's Scary
Read More!
All Wrapped Up with No Place to Go
Read More!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016)
Read More!
Why we should never judge a film, remake or otherwise, before actually seeing it
Read More!
San Diego's Biggest Convention as Seen Through the Eyes of The Massie Twins
Read More!
The reasoning behind my review of Act of Valor, supporting our troops, and the meaning of real patriotism
Read More!
Chris Pandolfi predicts the winners and shares his thoughts on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Did your favorite make his list?
Read More!