Thinking about ‘Oscar’

It’s that time of the year again. The buzz surrounding that famous little golden man is afresh this February and in every corner of Hollywood the name “Oscar” is echoing in Silicon Valley. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are just days away and the Oscar predictions have been pouring out of La La Land. The big question is: who will win?

Following the Oscar Nomination’s Ceremony on January 25th, talk about potential winners has been dominating the entertainment news. But, as in all awards shows, some surprises are bound to come out of the woodwork and the 2011 Oscars should be no different.

The directors this year have made some incredible films that range from historical to contemporary drama. In my opinion, Darren Aronofsky of the dark melodrama Black Swan should be awarded for his interesting take on a deteriorating mind. However, I’m betting that the Academy is going to give the Oscar to British director Tom Hooper of the acclaimed The King’s Speech. But don’t count out Aronofsky and also keep an eye out for David Fincher of The Social Network who may just steal the category.

The best and actor and actress categories seem to be in the bag for Colin Firth and Natalie Portman who have earned the Critic’s Choice, SAG Award, and the Golden Globe. Firth earns his nod playing King George VI on the brink of World War II who must seek out a speech therapist to overcome his stuttering and find his voice in The King’s Speech. And Portman bears her soul in the sinister portrayal of a ballerina on the edge of madness in her pursuit of perfection in Black Swan. Nevertheless, shockers such as the 2008 Oscar’s when Sean Penn beat out the favorite Mickey Rourke can always add some nail-biting to this pivotal category. Personally, I swooned over James Franco’s heart-wrenching depiction of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who becomes stranded in Blue John Canyon when his arm is pinned by a boulder in 127 Hours. But I’ll admit that I am a bit biased for the brown-eyed ‘Oscar rookie’ and his time will come again, I am sure.

Writers, for both adapted and original screenplay, tend to be ignored by the public and sometimes cut off by the dreaded orchestral music during the show. But it’s the writers who make the story and I believe this year had beautiful examples of masterfully written films. The best original screenplay will most definitely go to The King’s Speech and I have no doubt that The Social Network will clean up nicely in the adapted screenplay category.

The supporting actors and actresses delivered exceptional performances alongside their leading counterparts. The standout supporting actor has to be Christian Bale for his portrayal of a washed up, crack addicted boxer in The Fighter. Bale shed thirty pounds to land the part and his convincing act is well deserving of some Oscar love. The Fighter also has my pick for supporting actress as Melissa Leo holds her own with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg to play their ‘hard-as-nails’ mother. However, Amy Adams is equally as intimidating playing Wahlberg’s bartender girlfriend and she is also nominated for best supporting actress. I think it’s safe to say that the Academy Award will most likely go to Melissa Leo being that she is a long time alumni of the film industry and has never had her day in the sun.

Finally, there is that most coveted category of them all: the best motion picture. The 2008 Oscar’s set a precedent for the best picture category, allowing for the first time more than five nominees. This year there are a total of ten up for reward and they are– The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter, True Grit, 127 Hours, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, Winter’s Bone, and Toy Story 3. Each film is brilliant in its own right but in my opinion The Social Network should be taking home Oscar.
The Social Network is, of course, the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his tumultuous journey to becoming a billionaire and the film perfectly reflects the modern pros and cons of the technological generation. While keeping the story current, writer Aaron Sorkin was able to draw upon classic themes of betrayal and opportunism. However, The King’s Speech has earned twelve nominations and has become the favorite. It’s likely that there will be a clean sweep for the Brits.

Whatever and whoever the winners are, you can be sure that it will be a night to remember as the movie stars come out to shine. Hollywood’s most glamorous awards show airs live 8 pm EST this Sunday on ABC. So set your TiVo, grab your remote, and prepare to be dazzled!

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