Our picks for the Oscars

Our picks for the Oscars

The winners in the major categories should be fairly obvious, but the real surprises are the deserving artists who weren't nominated

November 04, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 07, 2012
October 07, 2012
Our Grammy picks went one for four. Let's see how we do this time, with the biggest night for the movies.

The 83rd Academy Awards will follow last year's format of two hosts - James Franco and Anne Hathaway will do the honours.

Franco is also nominated for Best Actor. Surprisingly, he's not the first host or co-host to have been nominated in the same year. Six others have gone before him, three of them winning awards.

The King's Speech leads the films in contention for Best Picture, with 12 nominations, followed by True Grit, with 10. Rounding out the list are Inception and The Social Network, with eight apiece.

Best Picture

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

The Academy is following last year's format of 10 nominees - previous years only had five - which is a throwback to the early decades. It also gives recognition to a larger number of films.

Toy Story 3, the highest-grossing film of the year, is the feel-good choice. But you have to think The King's Speech is the front-runner. At the time of their respective releases, Inception and The Social Network created a lot of Oscar buzz, but they have since simmered down quite a bit.

Our prediction: The King's Speech
Actual winner: The King's Speech

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

It's a bit of a surprise Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get a nomination. Many feel an Oscar is long overdue.

Franco has tough competition. Bridges won last year, and that may hinder his chances, but back-to-back wins are not impossible - Tom Hanks did it with Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. Firth's portrayal of King George VI is the hands-down favourite. He gets another shot at the coveted Oscar, which he lost to Bridges last year.

Our prediction: Colin Firth
Actual winner: Colin Firth

Actress in a 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

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) should be in this category. Instead, her nomination is for a supporting role, which may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The supporting nominees are no pushovers, but it's unlikely she would have had a chance against big guns like Bening and Portman. This is really a two-horse race between the two veterans, but the latter should walk away with the golden trophy. She gets major kudos for slipping on her dancing shoes and pirouetting her way, possibly, to Oscar glory.

Our prediction: Natalie Portman
Actual winner: Natalie Portman

Directing

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit

Christopher Nolan takes home the award for biggest snub - this year for Inception and two years ago for The Dark Knight. He just gets no Oscar love.

As with many of the other categories, more than a few who failed to be nominated deserve the award.

If this category increased the number of nominees, we'd certainly see Nolan, Danny Boyle (127 Hours) and Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) - who would inject a much-needed female presence - on the list. Last year Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) beat ex-husband James Cameron (Avatar) to sweep the Best Picture and Directing categories.

Our prediction: David Fincher
Actual winner: Tom Hooper

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