Will win and should win: Very few acting performances can move me to tears, and Natalie Portman accomplished that very feat with her exquisite, out-of-this-world performance as unstable ballerina Nina Sayers in Black Swan. Devastating by circumstance and phenomenal in scope, Portman’s performance is unbeatable! Sorry (again), Annette.
Will win: In The King’s Speech, Colin Firth magnificently imbues the stammering King George VI with dignity, shades of vulnerablity and ultimately hopeful courage. It is very rare to feel sympathy for an individual so privileged, yet Firth’s monarch is someone you find yourself rooting for. Therein lies the true power of his performance.
Should Win: Still, for my money, Jeff Bridges (True Grit) gave the most engaging performance by any male lead on-screen last year. Humorous and unforgettable, his Rooster Cogburn is constructed from the stuff of legend.
Will win and should win: Deservingly heraled as the strongest contender in this category, Fincher (The Social Network) is indeed the obvious choice for masterfully helming the most talked-about film of the year, drawing amazing performances from a young cast, led by Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield.
Will win: The King’s Speech. The successful late surge this season has practically secured this simple British period-piece affair the grand prix. I still say this film earns much of its glory just for its excellent climax. The rest feels very TV-movie-ish.
Should win: The Social Network. A film with way more emotional heft and a far more appealing story, Network certainly deserves the win, but I fear it will go the way of Avatar.
WHAT ABOUT US?
Here are my other picks in some other categories:
Best Original Screenplay – The King’s Speech (David Seidler)
Best Adapted Screenplay – The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)
Best Animated Feature – Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
Best Original Score – The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
Best Original Song – “Coming Home” (Country Strong)