Home > Movies, Television > Oscars 2011 – My picks. How about yours?

Oscars 2011 – My picks. How about yours?

Okay, we’re about a day away from the live broadcast of the 2011 Academy Awards, but I’ve been to the future long enough to get the results and bring them back to you, the good people of today.

All right, so that’s a load of crap. I don’t have a time machine. It’s in the shop. Instead, I’m winging it. Hell, I haven’t even seen all of the movies that have been nominated. It’s safe to say that I’ve seen half of them. Maybe less.

In cases where I haven’t seen the movie, I am using a highly scientific mathematical formula based on a combination of star quality, car chases, and liberal application of the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices to come up with the winner.

Before I get to the picks, though, let me just say this: Dear Academy, what the hell?! Ten best picture nominees? Everyone’s a winner? You’re going to have to show clips from all of them during your already too-long awards show. You may even try to make dance numbers out of them. I cannot wait to see what you come up with for Winter’s Bone – hillbillies bouncing on trampolines around a bubbling meth lab, maybe?

Best Picture:

Black Swan: Saw this. Hated it. A lot of people seem to love it, so maybe I just wasn’t high enough on chocolate at the time. It’s probably going to win, but it’s not my pick.

The Fighter: I haven’t seen this yet. From the trailer, I picked up a vibe of “Oh, look, they remade Rocky. It’s about time?”

Inception: Saw this. Loved it. Christopher Nolan’s Citizen Kane. It would get best picture if they allowed me to steal everyone’s ballots.

The Kids Are All Right: Haven’t seen this yet, but it’s not about batshit crazy ballerinas, so that’s an automatic plus. It’s about same-sex marriage and families, which is all kinds of topical these days. I may watch it sometime when I’ve downed a dozen bon-bons and a case of Holy Grail Ale.

The King’s Speech: Saw this. I thought it was excellent, although it felt like I was watching a stage play. So maybe it should be up for a Tony Award instead?

127 Hours: I haven’t seen this. I put it up there with Into the Wild, but with a happy(ish) ending for the guy who decided to venture into the wilderness on his own and got himself in trouble. Kids, please don’t try that at home.

The Social Network: Saw this. I really enjoyed it. It could win, but it won’t, because Natalie Portman looks hotter in duck feathers than Jesse Eisenberg.

Toy Story 3: I saw this. I’m sorry, but does anyone else remember the actual plots of these movies anymore? They all blend together for me now. One minute, the toys are in the house and the next they’re somehow out of the house on crazy misadventures that lead to some kind of “touching” message about friendship. My favorite Toy Story in recent memory came from the gang at Robot Chickenhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRGZyRAVMBs

True Grit: Saw this. All you John Wayne purists can shut up. This was better. It was a closer depiction of the novel, and Matt Damon did a much better job than Glen Campbell. Hell, this almost makes up for the atrocities Jeff Bridges committed in the making of Tron: Legacy.

Winter’s Bone: Finally saw this a few weeks ago. It’s the uplifting story of a depressed kid in the Ozarks who goes hunting for her dead meth-making dad. Wait, did I spoil it for you? It should have been called Deliverance 2010. It even has banjos.

Best Actor:

Javier Bardem (Biutiful): Didn’t see this, but I still have residual creep out from him and the cow-killing gun in No Country for Old Men, so he’s out.

Jeff Bridges (True Grit): Saw this. He was excellent. But he won last year for Crazy Heart, so I doubt he’ll get it for riding in John Wayne’s boots for a couple of hours.

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network): Saw this. It was good, but Jesse Eisenberg suffers from the Michael Cera Effect – he really only seems to have one gear. Maybe that’s true for Mark Zuckerberg too, in which case, well done, Jesse!

Colin Firth (The King’s Speech): Saw this. I think he ought to get it.

James Franco (127 Hours): Didn’t see this, but I assume he spends a lot of the movie looking stoned, except when he’s chopping his own limbs off, and then he looks like he’s wishing he was stoned. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is just how James Franco always looks, folks. It’s not acting.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale (The Fighter): I haven’t seen this yet, but the kid might not be so sullen all the time if he got this award. Maybe he’ll eat a sandwich.

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone): Saw this. He was great. I’ve been a fan of his since he played Sol on Deadwood. He ought to get the Oscar for this one.

Jeremy Renner (The Town): Saw this. Not surprised to see that he’s the only nomination from the movie. He was really good. I don’t think he was better than John Hawkes, though.

Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right): I haven’t seen this, but no one takes someone with the last name “Ruffalo” seriously. Hell, seems like they’re mocking him in the animated category with a little flick called The Gruffalo!

Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech): Saw this. Yeah, he was fantastic. I just don’t think The King’s Speech will take both actor and supporting actor. Team America, baby! We’ll let the Brits have one. But two? No way!

Best Actress

Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right): Didn’t see this, but I doubt it tops her performance in Mars Attacks.

Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole): Saw this. Normally, I can’t stand Nicole Kidman. I don’t think the Academy should admit mannequins into their ranks. Maybe that’s specist of me, but I am who I am. Nevertheless, she gave a great performance in this movie. So, she’s my pick.

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone): Saw this. Great performance. She deserved the nomination, but there’s no way she’ll wrestle a gold statuette from Nicole’s gnarled, pasty white zombie hands.

Natalie Portman (Black Swan): Oh, crap. I had almost forgotten about Natalie Portman in tights doing the wild and crazy with Mila Kunis. They still let Nicholson vote, right? Yeah, so much for Nicole winning. It’ll go to the wacky ballerina.

Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine): Didn’t see this. I don’t think many other people did, either. Did she do the wild and crazy with Mila Kunis? That appears to be key this season.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams (The Fighter): Didn’t see this, but I hear she was pretty good. Trouble is, she’s up against someone else from The Fighter in the same category, which means I don’t give either of them a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.

Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech): Saw this. She was good, as usual, but it wasn’t anything special.

Melissa Leo (The Fighter): Still need to see this. She and Amy Adams cancel each other out.

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit): Saw this. Y’know, she did a really good job in this movie. The Academy ought to throw her a bone. I think she’ll get it.

Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom): Haven’t seen this. I’ve consulted with the highly scientific formula and determined that she won’t win.

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: This was a fun movie. I want it to win. It won’t, but it should.

The Illusionist: It’s Belgian. You can’t trust Belgians. They’re wafflers.

Toy Story 3: Seriously? You might as well nominate Shrek Forever at this point. Still, it’ll probably win.

Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland: God, this movie was crap. I don’t want it to win anything. Let’s not encourage Tim Burton to do anything like this again.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I: What was new here that we didn’t see in the first zillion Harry Potter movies?

Inception: Well, I’ve made it clear that I loved Inception. I really want it to win in every category that it’s been nominated for. But it probably won’t.

The King’s Speech: I give the edge for art direction to this flick. I’ve said before that it felt like I was watching a stage play. Everything came together to give it that flavor.

True Grit: Not much new under the sun here. I liked it, but we’ve seen sweeping western vistas and dusty cow towns before.


Black Swan: Make this movie go away, please!

Inception: This ought to be the winner. The cinematography was fantastic. If nothing else, it wowed a lot of people who watched it.

The King’s Speech: It was okay, but not memorable.

The Social Network: I don’t see it happening.

True Grit: Again, no new ground covered here.

Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland: Does it count as a costume if it’s generated by a computer?

I Am Love: Didn’t see this. Sounds boring.

The King’s Speech: I’m not sure how challenging it was to raid vintage clothing stores or put medals on Colin Firth’s chest, but it was a good period piece. I just don’t think it’ll win.

The Tempest: Didn’t see this. Probably interesting.

True Grit: I liked this movie more than I liked The King’s Speech. Plus, eyepatch equals pirate. Pirates always win.


Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky: His acceptance speech ought to be an apology for making such a nonsensical ripoff of his own work. But it won’t.

The Fighter – David O’Russell: I haven’t seen this, but if it’s as much like Rocky as I think it is – why is he being nominated? Tell me there’s something new and exciting that I must see.

The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper: I don’t think Tom Hooper really had to direct anyone in this movie. They’re all excellent actors. He won’t win.

The Social Network – David Fincher: Here’s my pick for best director. He ought to win. He won’t, though, because of the lack of Jesse Eisenberg in duck feathers.

True Grit – The Coen Brothers: I love these guys and much of the work they’ve done. I loved this movie. However, I think the Academy just sort of looks at them and says, “Yeah, we’ve gotten to you already. You’re good. We get it.”


Exit through the Gift Shop: Didn’t see this.

Gasland: Saw part of this. It’s topical. I bet it wins.

Inside Job: Didn’t see this. Sounds ominous.

Restrepo: Nope. Didn’t see it. Sounds depressing.

Waste Land: Nope. Didn’t see it. Sounds hopeless.

Documentary Short Subject

Killing in the Name: Didn’t see it. Sounds like a winner.

Poster Girl: Didn’t see it. Probably weepy.

Strangers No More: Didn’t see it. Definitely sounds like a tearjerker.

Sun Come Up: Didn’t see it, but I bet it’s totally depressing until the very end, when there’s a glimmer of hope but we’re left with the question of whether that hope can last. Depressing!

The Warriors of Qiugang: Didn’t see it. I don’t think it’ll win.

Film Editing

Black Swan: Oh, for crying out loud. Yeah, I expect the Oscar will go to this movie.

The Fighter: Didn’t see it. I wonder if it’s on pay-per-view. Maybe I can watch it before the Oscars.

The King’s Speech: Eh. It was a good movie, but I don’t think the editing blew me away.

127 Hours: Didn’t see it. Lots of fast cuts, I bet.

The Social Network: Saw it. It might stand a chance. Go, Facebook flick! Beat Black Swan!

Foreign Language Film

Biutiful: Didn’t see it, but who in the Academy doesn’t love Javier Bardem? The winner.

Dogtooth: Didn’t see it. Sounds ugly.

In a Better World: Didn’t see it. Sounds depressing.

Incendies: Didn’t see it. Sounds foreign.

Outside the Law: Didn’t see it. Sounds dangerous.


Barney’s Version: Didn’t see it, but it looks cool. Let’s call it the winner.

The Way Back: Didn’t see it.

The Wolfman: This movie was horrible. It doesn’t deserve an award for Best Coaster, let alone Best Makeup.

Original Score

How to Train Your Dragon: Eh. It was okay.

Inception: The score for this movie was fantastic. It ought to win.

The King’s Speech: Eh. Just okay for me, dawg.

127 Hours: Didn’t see it. Don’t care.

The Social Network: Now, the music for this movie was really good too. It might beat out Inception, but I hope not.

Original Song

Country Strong: Didn’t see it. Haven’t heard the song. If it’s Gwyneth Paltrow, I just don’t give a damn. She’s from the same zombie tribe as Nicole Kidman.

Tangled: Didn’t see it. Haven’t heard the song. Meh.

127 Hours: Didn’t see it. Haven’t heard the song. It can’t possibly win.

Toy Story 3: Oh, look. Another Randy Newman song in Toy Story, nominated for another Oscar. I bet they give it to Country Strong.

Animated Short Film

Day & Night: Saw this. Loved it. It ought to win.

The Gruffalo: Haven’t seen this. I’m sorry they decided to mock Mark Ruffalo, but satire can be taken as flattery.

Let’s Pollute: Haven’t seen this. It sounds ironic. I’d probably like it.

The Lost Thing: I missed it. Probably behind the couch.

Madagascar: Haven’t seen it. Looks foreign, like haggis.

Live Action Short Film

The Confession: Haven’t seen this. Sounds boring.

The Crush: Haven’t seen this. Sounds like there’s lust.

God of Love: Haven’t seen this. Sounds like there’s sex.

Na Wewe: Haven’t seen this. Sounds foreign. I bet it wins.

Wish 143: Haven’t seen this. Sounds depressing.

Sound Editing

Inception: Ought to win.

Toy Story 3: No.

Tron: Legacy: What the hell? Get this movie OUT of the nominees! It was terrible.

True Grit: The coconuts for horse hooves were awfully convincing, but I don’t think they’ll win.

Unstoppable: Didn’t see this. I expect the sound involved train whistles, people grunting, people screaming, and shit exploding. That might play great in Poughkeepsie, but this is L.A. We’re talking a classy establishment.

Sound Mixing

Inception: Hey, so tell me, what the hell is the difference between editing and mixing, anyway? I hear these categories and I always get the feeling that they’re double dipping. Why don’t writers get a category for best use of nouns and then best use of adverbs? Let’s give this one to Inception.

The King’s Speech: Eh.

Salt: Wow, this came out in 2010? I had almost forgotten.

The Social Network: Meh.

True Grit: Again, no. Probably not.

Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland: No.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I: Same stuff, different movie.

Hereafter: Didn’t see this, but we’ve seen tidal waves before.

Inception: They folded Paris like a French quesadilla! Win!

Iron Man 2: I think it’s best if we all just try to forget this ever happened.

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours: No.

The Social Network: Yes, probably. Since they’re going to lose Best Picture to that damnable duck movie, they’ll get the screenplay.

Toy Story 3: No.

True Grit: It was well done, but I don’t think it stands a chance against the Facebook flick.

Winter’s Bone: Another good choice, but there aren’t enough hillbillies to unlike the misadventures of Mark Zuckerberg.

Original Screenplay

Another Year: Didn’t see this.

The Fighter: Didn’t see this, but feel compelled to do so, just to make sure it’s not Rocky Redux.

Inception: Ought to win. Hands down.

The Kids Are All Right: Didn’t see it. Probably a lot of talking.

The King’s Speech: Could win, but won’t. Team America, baby!

  1. Josh Drescher
    February 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Black Swan is creepy as hell and very interesting – a great bookend for what was done with The Wrestler. The Fighter is decent, but it’s really 100% Christian Bale with everyone else just tagging along. I can’t make myself watch 127 Hours due to sheer cowardice. Toy Story 3 was, IMHO, very weak (for a Pixar film) and a VERY strange choice for Best Picture. I thought The King’s Speech was good, but not great. Worthy of a nomination, but not a win. I’d be happy to see True Grit, Black Swan or The Social Network win and will burn Hollywood to the ground if Inception gets the award.

    In terms of Best Director, I think Hooper’s got a good (and appropriate) chance. He basically shot the entirely film in two or three rooms and each successfully evokes all the right emotions, even when we’ve seen them before in different contexts. I think Hooper or Aronofsky should win (and am thrilled that Nolan wasn’t nominated).

    For Best Actor my money is on Firth since Bridges won last year for a comparably scruffy, booze-addled role.

    Best Actress pretty much HAS to go to Portman. She went down the “How to Win An Oscar” list and checked every box. Lost an unhealthy amount of weight for the role? Check. Straight actor doing same-sex love scenes? Check. Commenting on a comfortably damnable subject? Check.

    Best supporting actor! This is where Batman finally wins an Oscar! For supporting actress, the choices are bizarrely weak except for Hailee Steinfeld, who would win anyway because the Academy loves young lady actresses.

    Screenplay should go to The Kids Are All Right, but will probably go to Inception, despite the fact that its screenplay basically just involved randomly layering locations and arbitrary dialog into a thick, festering pile of lame.

    Best Documentary SHOULD go to Exit Through the Giftshop. The novelty of a Banksy acceptance is obviously irresistible, but it was also a really, really interesting film that – regardless of its “actual truth” – makes an blistering commentary on the process of modern advocacy documentaries. Restrepo is excellent as well, but Inside Job is the clear front runner.

    For foreign film, I only saw Biutiful and Dogtooth, so I guess I’ll go with the latter since it’s a dark horse nominee anyway.

    Toy Story 3 will win for Best Animated, but shouldn’t because it sucked. The Dragon movie was at least fun to watch.

  2. Tammie
    February 27, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Uh, Black Swan will win nothing if there is a God.

  3. Josh Drescher
    February 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I’m impressed by how polarizing it is. I haven’t found anyone who thought it was just kind of “okay”. People either really loved it or hated it with a white hot passion. It’s the cilantro of movies!

  1. February 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm

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