Nothing is set in stone. Those are words to live by when it comes to awards season predictions. Early on it may have looked like The Social Network was going to steamroll the Academy Awards and walk away with Best Picture unchallenged. That would have been very boring. Thankfully The King’s Speech, which upset The Social Network by taking Best Picture at the Producers Guild Awards this past Saturday, is looking like a serious competitor. The Oscar nominations, which were released early this morning, only serve to reinforce that; The King’s Speech garnered twelve nominations, making it the most nominated film this year.
In second place is the Western remake True Grit with ten nominations. While some may be surprised by this, seeing as the movie was completely snubbed by the Golden Globes and has only popped up sporadically this awards season, it shouldn’t be all that shocking. Joel and Ethan Coen are long-time Academy darlings. In fact, they took the Best Director slot which many assumed would be given to Inception’s director/writer Christopher Nolan, which would have lined up with the Director’s Guild Award nominations.
It will be interesting to see just how much love the Coens’ movie ends up getting. It is entirely possible that Hailee Steinfeld will grab the Best Supporting Actress statuette for her role in True Grit, as the Academy has a long history of awarding young actresses in that category and there is no clear frontrunner this year.
While a few of the categories probably won’t offer any tension (Colin Firth, nominated for his role in The King’s Speech, should win Best Actor for example), there ought to be a few nail biters. Natalie Portman (Black Swan) is looking strong in the Best Actress category, but Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) may surprise everyone. This is Bening’s fourth nomination and Academy voters may feel she is long overdue for a win.
The real tension will come at the end of the ceremony, as it looks like we will have another Avatar/The Hurt Locker type showdown for Best Picture between The Social Network and The King’s Speech. While my pride may be hurt if the Facebook movie loses, for I predicted its win with much confidence a while ago, my sense of aesthetic would appreciate a win for The King’s Speech.
You can see a full list of the nominations here.
Based on true events, 127 Hours follows Aron Ralston (Franco), a dare-devil outdoorsman who gets trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone in the Utah mountains. As hours turn into days, Ralston embarks on a personal journey in which he relies on the memories of family and friends – as well as his own courage and ingenuity – to turn adversity into triumph.