I know that I’ve already commented on the nominees for this year’s Oscars and given a few predictions about who’s going to win. But there have been some developments since then. Hollywood has granted quite a few awards and I’ve seen a few more Oscar hopefuls.

In this entry, I’ll be sorting through all of the data and expert commentaries so you don’t have to. Here are my preferences and predictions for every category, put on record with no frills. When the big night comes, I’ll be updating this entry with the real winners and a bit of my analysis where warranted. Also, to be clear, I’ll be modifying the entries in the order that the awards were presented.

Art Direction:

Should Win: Inception

Will Win: Inception

Did Win: Alice in Wonderland

I was hoping with all my might that this wouldn’t happen, since Alice looked like garbage. Inception truly deserved this and everyone was betting on it, but I can’t really call this an upset since Tim Burton has a history of winning this award with very little contest.


Should Win: Black Swan

Will Win: True Grit

Did Win: Inception

And Roger Deakins loses again. This is actually a huge upset, since everyone thought that this would be Deakins’ year, but there’s no denying that the camera work on Inception was pretty damn good and Pfister is a phenomenal DoP. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that Deakins is a master and there’s no denying that he’ll get that Oscar someday. I just hope it won’t be posthumous.

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Will Win: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Did Win: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

This one had a strong chance for an upset, given Steinfeld’s amazing performance and Leo’s controversial awards campaigning. She just kept shooting herself in the foot with this one, right up toward dropping an F-bomb during her acceptance speech. Still, at least Adams and Steinfeld have a lot of great performances left in them. And to be fair, Leo’s job in The Fighter was very good.

Incidentally, who decided to let Kirk Douglas present? I know he’s a legend and he’s ancient, but his schtick onstage was just overlong, embarrassing and painful to watch.

Short Film (Animated):

Should Win: No preference

Will Win: Day and Night

Did Win: The Lost Thing

Well, here’s a shocker. I heard The Gruffalo was a contender and I personally thought that the Pixar product was a shoe-in, but what the hell is The Lost Thing and where did it come from?

Animated Feature Film:

Should Win: Toy Story 3

Will Win: Toy Story 3

Did Win: Toy Story 3

Predictable as the tide, this one.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Should Win: The Social Network

Will Win: The Social Network

Did Win: The Social Network

And Aaron Sorkin gets his Oscar. I personally thought his speech was intelligent and level-headed, but overlong.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Should Win: The King’s Speech

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Did Win: The King’s Speech

In my humble opinion, this was the only nominee that deserved the award. Now, for The King’s Speech to go on and win several awards that it doesn’t deserve.

Foreign Language Film:

Should Win: Anything but Biutiful.

Will Win: Biutiful

Did Win: In A Better World

So I thought that Biutiful would win after Javier Bardem became the first actor nominated for a foreign-language film. So sue me. Then again, I understand that I wasn’t alone in hating that film, so I guess this may not be such a surprise.

I haven’t heard of this film, though I’ll be interested to see it.

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Should Win: Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Will Win: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Did Win: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Rush was able to give an outstanding performance in his own right while brilliantly playing off of Firth, so he really did deserve this. Then again, The Fighter turned out to be a vehicle for Bale — far more so than for Wahlberg — so this outcome isn’t really a shock. Also, given the amount of roles he’s been taking recently — devoting his heart, body and soul to every single one — far be it from me to begrudge Bale for this.

Music (Original Score):

Should Win: Tron: Legacy

Will Win: The Social Network

Did Win: The Social Network

I know that my “should win” was a pipe dream and I know it wasn’t the only snub this year, but this is the only one that’s still stuck in my craw. Tron: Legacy truly deserved to win this and that it wasn’t even nominated was a sham.

That said, the work that Reznor and Ross turned in for The Social Network was wonderful. Both have been confirmed for scoring duty on Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo remake, and I just cannot wait to hear what they do with that one.

Sound Mixing:

Should Win: Inception

Will Win: Inception

Did Win: Inception

Sound Editing:

Should Win: Inception

Will Win: Inception

Did Win: Inception

Yes, I know that Inception only won both of these awards because no one knows the difference between sound editing and sound mixing. No matter. Inception was a technical marvel and these victories suit me just fine.


Should Win: The Wolf Man

Will Win: The Wolf Man

Did Win: The Wolf Man

Well, color me absolutely shocked that Rick Baker took home this Oscar. And against such stiff competition, too!

Costume Design:

Should Win: The Tempest

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Did Win: Alice in Wonderland

Yes, I know The Tempest never stood a chance in hell, but it was still the best of the bunch.

But as much as I absolutely hated Alice, I’m kind of glad that if the Academy didn’t give this to The Tempest, at least it gave the award to a fantasy instead of going with the period film like they usually do.

Documentary Short:

Should Win: No preference

Will Win: Poster Girl

Did Win: Strangers No More

I went with the short about the current Middle East wars. The Academy went with a short that’s apparently about refugee children. Good on them.

Short Film (Live Action):

Should Win: No preference

Will Win: The Confession

Did Win: God of Love

I figured that this award would go to the film that won a Student Oscar. I figured wrong. Whatever.

Documentary Feature:

Should Win: No preference

Will Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Did Win: Inside Job

So many good nominees this year and I haven’t seen a one of them. I must fix that.

Apparently, this was neck-and-neck between Inside Job and Exit Through the Gift Shop. Looks like I lost the coin toss.

Visual Effects:

Should Win: Inception

Will Win: Inception

Did Win: Inception

Thank God Alice didn’t take this one, too. Inception deserved this award more than any other, and no other film in 2010 deserved the award more than Inception.

Film Editing:

Should Win: 127 Hours

Will Win: The Social Network

Did Win: The Social Network

I personally think that 127 Hours and Black Swan both had much better editing, but the editing in The Social Network was really damn good. And anyway, it could’ve been worse: At least The King’s Speech didn’t get this one.

Music (Original Song):

Should Win: No preference

Will Win: “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)

Did Win: “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)

Randy Newman picked up a second trophy out of 20 nominations. Great for him. Also, his acceptance speech was great.


Should Win: David Fincher (The Social Network)

Will Win: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

Did Win: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

*sigh* Such a damn shame that this one didn’t go to Aronofsky or Fincher, but never bet against the DGA winner. And why Hooper won the DGA’s top award rather than either of the other two, I have no idea. At least he came to his acceptance speech with a nice little story.

Actress in a Leading Role:

Should Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Will Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Did Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Hardly a surprise, I know, but damned if she didn’t deserve it. She had a very nice (if incredibly overlong) acceptance speech as well. I just hope that Annette Bening gets another shot, and that goes triple for Jennifer Lawrence. Either of them could easily have won this performance in a weaker year, but Black Swan was unquestionably the better film, thanks to its leading lady.

Actor in a Leading Role:

Should Win: James Franco (127 Hours)

Will Win: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Did Win: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Oh, don’t pretend you didn’t see this coming.

Firth has had this award coming for a few years now and he did a very good job as the King. Nevertheless, there were at least two other actors who deserved this award more than Firth did (Eisenberg and Franco come immediately to mind), but that’s what happens when the crop of nominees is this damn good.

Best Picture:

Should Win: Either The Social Network or Black Swan

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Did Win: The King’s Speech

Again, this was a very good film, but not nearly as good as a few of the other nominees. But just wait, because I’m calling it: Ten years from now, far more people will remember The Social Network than The King’s Speech.

Total Guessed: 16/24

All in all, this particular ceremony was hit and miss. Franco was so stiff and unenthusiastic that I found myself wishing Hathaway had hosted this on her own. At least she had some energy  and bothered to put in a bit of singing talent.

The set was wonderful and the back-projection was a nice touch. Still, the name-drops to previous film classics (that first nod to Gone With the Wind, the ending song from Wizard of Oz, that Lena Horne tribute, etc.) seemed very random, out of place and apropos of nothing. Also, the opening skit referenced Back to the Future. WTF?

Of course, nothing about the ceremony was anywhere near as bad as that stupid vocoder nightmare that wasn’t even fit for a YouTube parody. I’m so glad I took that opportunity to go make myself a drink, though I’m horrified that the video went so long that it was still going when I came back.

This ceremony took a long time to find its groove, but at least it did at some point. This was no doubt helped by some rather smart decisions to decrease the running time. Truncating the Original Song performances and presenting them in brief chunks was a good call. It was also a smart move to have the presenters give props to the Best Actor/Actress nominees, though I think that may have been because the presenters were Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock. I don’t think that the kind words would have as much sincerity coming from someone like Natalie Portman, who — talented though she is — hasn’t spent nearly as much time in the industry.

All in all, this was quite a night and I’m glad it’s over. We can finally stop looking back on the best films of 2010, just in time for the really good cinema to start coming in March 2011!