The King's Speech is this prognosticator's favorite to land the most Oscars this year primarily because the Anglophilic Academy adores English accents, especially in costume dramas revolving around the Royal Family. Another plus is the fact that the film opened in late December, around the same time that its chief competition, The Social Network, peaked in popularity due to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's being then named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
Although The King's Speech is a shoo-in for Best Picture, Tom Hooper is likely to be edged out by The Social Network's David Fincher for Best Director, based on the latter's never having won despite an impressive body of work which includes Panic Room, Zodiac, Fight Club, Se7en and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Brits Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and Christian Bale (The Fighter) will prevail in the Best and Supporting Actor categories, respectively, while Natalie Portman (Black Swan) will win easily for Best Actress. Supporting actress is hard to handicap, with slight favorite Melissa Leo's (The Fighter) chances being compromised by her cast mate Amy Adams' having also been nominated. A split vote might allow Londoner Helena Bonham Carter to ride The King's Speech tidal wave to victory.
Besides peering into my crystal ball to forecast the winners, I have also indicated below which nominees in the major categories are actually the most deserving. And because so many great performances are invariably snubbed by the Academy, I also point out who's been overlooked entirely. I do pass on four categories: Best Foreign Film (which I have an abysmal history in terms of predicting) and the three short categories: Live-Action, Animated and Documentary.
The 83rd Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 27th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be co-hosted at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywoodby James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
Will Win: The King's Speech
Deserves to Win: The Social Network
Will Win: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Deserves to Win: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Overlooked: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Will Win: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
Deserves to Win: Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Overlooked: Michael Douglas (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps)
Will Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Deserves to Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Overlooked: Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank)
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Deserves to Win: Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
Overlooked: Jerry O'Connell (Piranha 3D)
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Deserves to Win: Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Overlooked: Rebecca Hall (The Town)
Predictions for Secondary Categories
Original Screenplay: David Seidler (The King's Speech)
Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Art Direction: The King's Speech
Cinematography: True Grit
Costume Design: The King's Speech
Documentary Feature: Inside Job
Film Editing: The Social Network
Makeup: The Wolfman
Original Score: The Social Network
Original Song: "We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)
Sound Editing: Inception
Sound Mixing: Inception
Visual Effects: Inception