The King’s Speech ...
and more

A look at potential winners for 
this year’s Academy Awards

Best Picture

This year’s group of nominees for Best Picture will provide a tough challenge for Academy voting members. The tight race will most likely come down to The Social Network and The King’s Speech. Though many fans view Black Swan and True Grit as strong contenders, they are more likely to take awards for actor and actress, with Natalie Portman practically already holding the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role. Despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed The Social Network, The King’s Speech should win the Oscar this year. Between the impressive directing and cinematography and the brilliant performances by Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, and Colin Firth, the film is a standout among the contenders.

Shelley Ackerman, Staff Writer

Actress in a Leading Role

Portman will win the Oscar. After her multiple wins this season — including a Golden Globe — her competitors should prepare for their impending losses. Her portrayal of Nina Sayers in Black Swan was mind-blowing — she was fully absorbed in her role and gave a gut-wrenching and frightening performance that left the audience speechless by the end of the film. —SA

Actor in a Leading Role

Firth has this Oscar in the bag. Though Jesse Eisenberg did a good job in the role of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Firth fully embraced his character and gave a brilliant performance as King George VI. Unlike some of the other categories of nominations, the group for Best Actor should really just consist of Firth — there is no debate about his winning. —SA

Supporting Actress

This year’s group of women for Supporting Actress are going to give the voters a tough choice. With brilliant performances from Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech and Melissa Leo in The Fighter, this Oscar is going to be a close one. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit may also put up a fight as a result of her strong and refreshing performance. In the end, all of the women in this category deserve recognition for their outstanding roles, but Leo’s flawless portrayal of Alice Ward in The Fighter is likely to take this year’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. —SA

Supporting Actor

The race for Best Supporting Actor will likely come down to Christian Bale and Rush. Although Bale gave a powerful performance in The Fighter, Rush completely explores his character, adding a whole new dimension to the film in addition to his funny bits. However, this award may be the closest race for the Oscar out of all the categories this year. —SA

Costume Design

The award for Best Costume Design should be a close call between Academy favorite Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland and Jenny Beavan for The King’s Speech. My pick is Beavan. Atwood did a fantastic job with the over-the-top Alice costumes, but the costumes in The King’s Speech had a certain understated elegance. Besides, Beavan’s only other Oscar win was for A Room With a View, also starring Carter; a second win this year would be a perfect coincidence.

—Kathryn Dere, Arts Editor

Animated Feature Film

This award will be a close call between How To Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3. I loved the Viking children and catlike, fire-breathing creatures in How to Train Your Dragon, but if the first Toy Story movie launched us into childhood, Toy Story 3, with its poignant finality, will probably take home the Oscar. —KD

Music (Original Score)

Alexandre Desplat’s score for The King’s Speech is one of a soundtrack that I would be perfectly happy listening to on its own. I love the simple piano melodies woven throughout the music, and props to Desplat for getting into the spirit and using ’40s microphones to record. A close runner-up is The Social Network, scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. While I didn’t particularly like the music on its own, it did fit in quite nicely with the film. —KD

Music (Original Song)

The two main contenders in this category are the animated films. Tangled’s “I See the Light” is my favorite, but “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 will probably win. The song keeps you awake — unlike the dreamy “If I Rise” from 127 Hours — and it doesn’t hurt that it comes from our favorite Disney-Pixar collaboration. —KD

Visual Effects

If Inception does not win for this category, I will be very upset. Alice in Wonderland, while stunning to look at, has nothing to match Inception’s city-folding and general mind-blowing concept. —KD