Who would be the main winners from Tuesday morning’s announcement of the Oscar nominations? The Social Network? The King’s Speech? Here’s a quick rundown of the runners and riders in the major categories.
As predicted, the major movies came through on Oscar nominations day: The King’s Speech, True Grit, Inception, The Social Network and The Fighter got between 7-12 nods (The King’s Speech led the way with an impressive dozen). They’re all recognized in the coveted Best Picture category along with Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right, 127 hours, Toy Story 3 and Winter’s Bone.
Many believe that Colin Firth and Natalie Portman are locks for Best Actor and Actress respectively. And sure enough, their turns in The King’s Speech and Black Swan were duly recognized. Firth will be wary of last year’s winner, Jeff Bridges (True Grit, though the fact Firth should have won then for A Single Man will be in his favor a year on) as well as Oscar co-host James Franco (127 Hours) and Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network. Only Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) has won before among these five for Best Actress but Annette Bening could be the sleeper in this category (The Kids Are All Right), especially as co-star Julianne Moore didn’t make the cut. In any other year, Michelle Williams would have a real shot for her woman on the verge of a nervous marriage breakdown in Blue Valentine (especially when you take into account her real-life drama as regards the late Heath Ledger) but when Oscar perceives that it’s your time (see Kate Winslet for The Reader a couple of years ago), there’s little you can do but put on your most gracious losing face.
The supporting categories might be more keenly contested. While Christian Bale is the early favorite for his turn as the ever-so-slightly unhinged Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, Geoffrey Rush received warm reviews for The King’s Speech and Jeremy Renner’s quietly menacing part of Jem in The Town (which didn’t fare at all well across the nominations board) could have a say in where the Oscar is headed. The Supporting Actress should be a three-way fight between Melissa Leo and Amy Adams in The Fighter and the teenager Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit. If Leo and Adams split the vote, look for Steinfeld to possibly nab the Oscar.
Best Director is typically strong — though Christopher Nolan not being recognized for Inception is somewhat shocking — and David Fincher will be fancied for The Social Network but if The King’s Speech does have a royally good evening, why shouldn’t Tom Hooper take the crown? Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter) and those Coen brothers (True Grit) will all be holding out hope, especially the Coens as their movie did terrifically well, coming second in the total nominations with a mighty ten.
And if Aaron Sorkin doesn’t take Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network and Toy Story 3 doesn’t win Best Animated Movie, NewsFeed will eat its hat (the same one Woody wears, of course!)
The 83rd Academy Awards takes place on Sunday February 27 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre and NewsFeed will have much much more in the build up to the big night.