Academy Award Nominees, 2011

Who Will Win and Who Should Win: predictions and personal picks in eight major categories

Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes in their Oscar-nominated performances in 'Winter's Bone'Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes in their Oscar-nominated performances in 'Winter's Bone'

Acting Categories

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Who Will Win: Colin Firth, a serious actor with just enough comic sensibility to get him liked. For some reason, it never quite worked for me.

Who Should Win: Jesse Eisenberg – he gave The Social Network the dramatic weight and intensity that elevated it above mediocrity.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
  • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Who Will Win: Christian Bale, with a chance for talented British favorite Geoffrey Rush.

Who Should Win: John Hawkes for his frightening portrayal of the intensely loyal and bold Teardrop in Winter's Bone. I am also liking Christian Bale but more for his past work (American Psycho).

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
  • Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
  • Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman – all old white men love this tiny child actress who occasionally does good things with her "perfect" features. There is a slight chance for Annette Bening, a wonderful actress who should have won long ago.

Who Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence for a raw and soulful performance that completely defined her movie. Runner Up: Michelle Williams, for being a strong and gutsy actress since "Dawson's Creek" but nevertheless remaining low-key.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
  • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
  • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo...

Who Should Win: All these lovely ladies are perfectly deserving, but I'm going to have to agree with Oscar.

Writing Categories

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
  • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
  • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
  • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Who Will Win: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network...

Who Should Win: I am going to have to agree with Oscar, again. Sorkin delivered a very entertaining and funny script.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
  • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
  • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Who Will Win: The King's Speech, although The Kids Are All Right has a chance given the Oscars like to celebrate a more "quirky" movie for this category.

Who Should Win:Another Year– Mr. Leigh deserves it, for this and for plenty of his other films, which are much more original and interesting than most of what we will see congratulated Oscar night.

The Big Ones


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

Who Will Win: This is the most difficult category to guess, but it seems most likely that it'll go to David Fincher. I personally have a feeling about Tom Hooper, but it's hard to tell.

Who Should Win: Debra Granik for "Winter's Bone" but she wasn't nominated. I definitely know who I do not want to win, which is Darren Aronofsky. Fincher and the Coens deserve it, but mostly for past work.

Best Picture

  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Who Will Win: The Social Network...

Who Should Win: Winter's Bone is my pick, mostly for astonishing me; however, The Social Network was also among my picks for best movies of the year, and I highly enjoyed it.

*I revisit the nominated films and directors in my most recent Oscar post.

* I posted on why "Winter's Bone" and "The Social Network" are my top choices at this year's Oscars. 

Comments (2)

somerset's image

January 31, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this line, "Natalie Portman – all old white men love this tiny child actress who occasionally does good things with her 'perfect' features." How true it is. I also enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, I couldn't agree more about John Hawkes. He can't compete with millions in marketing and losing weight unfortunately.

Ziad's image

February 14, 2011

I just watched The Fighter and I must say that it impressed me way more than Black Swan and The Social Network. I'm yet to watch True Grit and Winter's Bone, but The Fighter, it seemed to me, is a hard film to beat.

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