2011 Oscar Nominations – My Predictions

Well, it all comes down to tomorrow night! These are my predictions for the 83rd Academy Awards. I will list the nominees for each category, my pick within each category (in bold), and my reasons. In the event that I reviewed a film here, I will link it. I’ll fill in the reviews as I can.

I feel a serious sense of accomplishment. I have seen most of the major nominees this year. I’m really curious about the outcome.

* = Seen, but not reviewed

Best Picture

I liked all the nominees for Best Picture, and I can see the reasons for each of them–particularly The King’s Speech, which I think should win. However, The Social Network will win.

I loved The Social Network, and I think that it will partially win due to its timeliness. It’s also the combination of Jesse Eisenberg‘s chilling performance, Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor’s rendering of atmosphere through their score, and the fast pace of Aaron Sorkin‘s brilliant script.

Actress in Leading Role

  • Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
  • Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan*
  • Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine*

I walked out of Black Swan and said, without a doubt, that Natalie Portman won best actress. It’s a difficult film to watch, but Portman plays the slow digression into madness with a delicate, terrifying grace. She blew me away.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Javier Bardem, Biutiful – I’m dying to see this film. It just came to my area, so I’ll do my best to get to it soon.
  • Jeff Bridges, True Grit
  • Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  • James Franco, 127 Hours

This was a difficult one for me. I was prepared to admit that Bridges had it in the bag. He was in deep with his character; it was difficult to find where Bridges ended and Rooster Cogburn began. I may or may not have even made a bet with my brother to that end. However, Colin Firth did it. He literally made me gasp for breath while working toward forcing his words out. He portrayed the inspirational monarch with astounding restraint and subtlety, yet with bursts of painful emotion.

I will unfortunately be paying out to my brother…allegedly

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams, The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
  • Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom*

While Helena Bonham Carter did an excellent job as the Queen Mother-to-be in The King’s Speech, and Amy Adams really stood above the many, many women in The Fighter, particularly over Melissa Leo, who was good as well, Hailee Steinfeld shone as the precocious and persistent Mattie Ross who corrals and cajoles Rooster Cogburn into doing her bidding.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
  • Jeremy Renner, The Town
  • Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
  • Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

This is also a difficult one. I have a feeling that Christian Bale will win this one. It is well deserved, as he really goes all out for his character. Geoffrey Rush, on the other hand, sells himself fully. He endeared himself to the audience, playing the tenaciously lovable speech therapist who breaks through to the King.


  • Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky*
  • The Fighter, David. O. Russell
  • The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper
  • The Social Network, David Fincher
  • True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

This has always seemed a rather ambiguous category for me (see the link I provided above), as there is the simple notion of decided just what a director does, as their methods seem so disparate. Personally, I think Christopher Nolan should be the recipient of this award, hands down. If not, then Danny Boyle for “filming the unfilmable,” as I mentioned in my review of 127 Hours. But as I don’t get my way, I’m going to predict that this will go to The Social Network, partially for the impressive pacing and Fincher’s expert wielding of Sorkin’s script.

I’d also like to say that one of the most conspicuous absences here is a nomination for Christopher Nolan. He absolutely deserves a nomination at the very least for Inception. I was disappointed to see this snub.

Animated Feature Film

I am eagerly waiting for The Illusionist to be released on dvd, but I have seen the other two nominees. I really enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon, but I think that Toy Story 3 is an expertly emotional finale to the exceedingly popular Disney franchise. I also think that the Best Picture nomination gives us a good indicator that this will be the best animated feature.

Art Direction

  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • True Grit

While each of the other films boast excellent production design (which, really, is what this category should be called), Alice in Wonderland provides a depth of splendor and vibrancy that is nearly unrivaled.

However, I suspect that The King’s Speech will win, as it’s a period piece–but Alice is a fantasy period film.


  • Black Swan*
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

True Grit was beautiful and extremely well shot. This deserves it, though Inception will give it a run for its money.

Costume Design

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

While Alice in Wonderland and True Grit certainly do it well–and both deserve the spot–I would say that The King’s Speech is a shoe-in for this one.

Documentary (Feature)

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

Unfortunately, I’m deficient in the documentary department. I’m making an effort to watch each of these, but I won’t get them all done before the show. I hear, however, that Exit Through the Gift Shop should take it.

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang

Still lacking here…

Film Editing

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

I think this one might be the biggest stretch, but I think 127 Hours was edited brilliantly. Its pacing was perfect in its treatment of the tragic events in the canyon. Black Swan and The Social Network both deserve it as well, and The Social Network will probably win it, but I want Boyle to come out on top.

Foreign Language Film

  • Biutiful, Mexico
  • Dogtooth, Greece
  • In A Better World, Denmark
  • Incendies, Canada
  • Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi), Algeria

Unfortunately, I’m not up on my foreign films, but I’m really trying to see Biutiful. It won’t happen this weekend, though. My money’s on Biutiful, though, after Bardem’s Best Actor nod.


  • Barney’s Version
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman*

This is a bit unfair, as the only one of these three that I’ve seen is The Wolfman, but they really did well with the make-up.

Music (Original Score)

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

I contemplated doing a whole post on the Oscar nominated scores, as I almost exclusively listen to film scores (maybe I will anyway…). Each of these well-deserves an Oscar. Usually, my criteria for a film score is whether it works as a standalone album. The Social Network‘s score, which I talk about it in my review, is the exception to my rule because it works superbly within the film. Alexandre Desplat’s score for The King’s Speech was excellent–one of his best. However, I think that How to Train Your Dragon, composed by John Powell topped them all. (I won’t be surprised–or disappointed–if Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross win for The Social Network, however).

Music (Original Song)

  • Coming Home from Country Strong
  • I See the Light from Tangled
  • If I Rise from 127 Hours
  • We Belong Together from Toy Story 3

I haven’t seen Country Strong or Tangled, and “If I Rise” was just fine, but “We Belong Together” was excellent.

Short Film (Animated)

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let’s Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary

The only one of these that I’ve seen is “Day and Night,” which premiered before Toy Story 3. It was really good, but I don’t think it’s necessarily Oscar-worthy.

Short Film (Live Action)

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143

I haven’t seen any of these either…

Sound Editing

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • Tron: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable

I’m fairly certain that Inception is a shoe-in for this one due to it being such a huge, visual effects epic. It’s not all about the visuals, though; the sounds are well-crafted and executed well. They support the storyline well by providing a depth of realism, not detracting at all.

Sound Mixing

  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

Same reasons as above. Inception owns the technological categories.

Visual Effects

  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

Inception is visually arresting and effects-driven. The only other film that might compete is Alice in Wonderland, but I’m sure Nolan’s film will clinch the win.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

Aaron Sorkin’s well-crafted, witty, thorough script is a sure winner.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech and Inception are the two front runners here, in my opinion. I loved The King’s Speech, but Inception‘s brilliant complexity and originality clearly earn the Oscar.

Comment and let me know what you think, and if you would choose anything different.


2 thoughts on “2011 Oscar Nominations – My Predictions

  1. Pingback: 2011 Oscar Nominations – My Predictions « Elementary, My Dear Reader | The Oscars LIVE

  2. Pingback: 2011 Oscar Nominations – My Predictions « Elementary, My Dear Reader | The Oscars LIVE

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