Tonight, millions of people will tune in to see who wins the coveted Academy Awards. I live in Tinseltown and have the good sense to avoid any errands that involve driving on this red letter day. Amazingly, the show has an effect on traffic, parking, and grocery store lines. It's a great night to go to a restaurant, most will be empty.
Best Film: The King's Speech
It's not as grandiose as Inception or as smart as The Social Network or as satisfying as Toy Story 3, but I'm betting the votes will be so divided it will inch toward a win.
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Generally, the award for Best Film goes hand in hand with Best Director, but not always. And this year, it has to be Fincher. Aronofsky didn't create a crowd-pleaser with Black Swan, the Coen Brothers won the award only a couple of years ago and True Grit was a remake, David O. Russell's The Fighter lacked the polish of a superb film. The Social Network will lose in other categories to flashier films, so I predict Fincher's win as director a no-brainer.
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Colin Firth manages to play reserved characters with great warmth and likability. Bardem and Bridges have won Oscars very recently and Franco and Eisenberg are young, with years ahead of them to vie again for the statue.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Portman is a shoo-in, having already won all the major awards for her portrayal of a troubled ballerina. She is pretty...very, very, very pretty. Annette Bening may be the wild card, as she's been passed over several times. Jennifer Lawrence was excellent in Winter's Bone, Nicole Kidman was powerful in Rabbit Hole, Michelle Williams was convincingly broken in Blue Valentine--three films that were dark, depressing and in limited release.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
By now, Bale's public tirades and hissy fits have become ancient history, and his turn as a low-life crack addict spells Oscar gold. Geoffrey Rush has already won an Oscar, and I predict he and John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will have to smile for the cameras tonight.
Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld
Why? Because True Grit has to win a major award. Helena Bonham Carter as a proper royal wife didn't stir any interest, Melissa Leo and Jackie Weaver portrayed overbearing, hateful mothers you only can stand watching once, Amy Adams in her best performance to date, will also have to wait. Every so often, the Oscar is awarded to a long-shot, who is sometimes a mere child.
Best Screenplay (adapted): The Social Network
I am hoping that the Coen brothers win for True Grit, but I know better.
Best Screenplay (original): Inception
If you look over the list; Another Year, The Fighter, The Kids are All Right, The King's Speech, and Christopher Nolan's Inception, it's clear that Nolan has the most original story in the mix.