BAM's Blog 2011 Oscar predictions
Oscars Week continues here at BAM’s Blog, with Sunday night’s 83rd Annual Academy Awards drawing ever closer. The award show will air live at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on ABC (KOCO-5 in Oklahoma City), and you can follow along with live blog here at BAM’s Blog. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with the Oscars red carpet.
Here’s how I’m calling the winners during Sunday night’s moments of truth at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. Click here to read the predictions from The Oklahoman’s Gene Triplett and George Lang, too, or refer to Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Brandy says: What a different six weeks makes. When “The Social Network” won four Golden Globes, including best motion picture drama, in January, the acclaimed Facebook origin tale seemed to have the Oscar race all but won. But in the past few weeks, the momentum has slowly and inexorably shifted in favor of “The King’s Speech.” Both are fact-based tales whose adherence to the truth has been called into question, both boast top-shelf talents working behind and in front of the camera, and both have their indelible cinematic moments. Both are unquestioningly among the best films of the year.
But “The King’s Speech” is the epitome of “Oscar bait”: A golden-lit British World War II period piece telling the inspirational tale of a king trying to overcome a disability so he can stiff-upper-lip his countrymen to victory over the Nazis.
Still, since the 83rd Academy Awards are meant to honor the filmmaking achievements specifically of 2010, “The Social Network” ought to win. Rarely has cinema been more timely, as Facebook last year surpassed Google to become America’s most popular — and arguably, most addictive — website. But David Fincher and Co. also have created a timeless tale of ambition and alienation, friendship and betrayal that even Shakespeare could appreciate.
Should win: “The Social Network.”
Will win: “The King’s Speech.”
Brandy says: Rarely has a best actor category been so packed with Oscar-worthy turns and at the same time featured such a clear-cut victor. Every contender in this contest crafted a remarkable performance that had to and did carry his film, with the exception of Jeff Bridges, who belongs in the supporting category but deserves a gold star for his singular turn as Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn, the role that won the legendary John Wayne his only Oscar, in the Coen brothers’ superb rendition of “True Grit.” But Colin Firth, who lost to Bridges last year, should have his speech ready: His sensitive portrayal of a king struggling with a stutter just when his country needs to hear from him the most is absolutely majestic, and with a lesser actor in the lead, the performance — and hence the film — could have been an total disaster.
Should and will win: Colin Firth.
Brandy says: Despite the wealth of talent — even with the absence of teen powerhouse Hailee Steinfeld, whose starring turn in “True Grit” was relegated to the supporting category in a clear case of a studio playing Oscar politics — this year’s best-actress contest has been billed as a two-woman race between Annette Bening, whose turn as a lesbian mom trying to keep her family together in “The Kids Are All Right” won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman, whose performance as a prima ballerina breaking down in “Black Swan” earned the Globe for best actress in a drama. The academy loves to finally give people their due, and Bening is on her fourth nomination. But like Jeff Bridges last year, Bening will have to wait for nomination No. 5 to get her long-awaited Oscar. Portman stayed on her toes all the way through her ballet thriller’s spellbinding finale, and she never faltered in her utterly authentic performance not only as a skilled prima ballerina but also as a damaged soul losing her grip on reality.
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