Oscars 2011: Predictions, Opinions

Perusing the nominated films this year, I find that I have seen all the Best Picture nominees, all but one of the Best Actor/Actress performances (Biutiful), all but one of the Best Supporting Actor/Actress nominees (Animal Kingdom), and all but two of the documentaries. So here are my predictions for the winners, my haughty judgments of who SHOULD win, and my even-haughtier judgments of what else should have been nominated.

BEST PICTURE

Will win: The King’s Speech. Sure. Why not? It’s a terrific movie, apart from the problems Christopher Hitchens has laid out clearly and at length. It’s fun because, as some critic (whose name escapes me) pointed out, it’s basically a sports movie. Which brings me to:

Should win: The Fighter. My standard for greatness is “Do I want to watch this again?” I want to re-watch only a couple of these movies, but I really, really want to re-watch this. I loved the portrayal of Lowell’s white trash, the occasional gawkers looking at their verbal spats, the visceral boxing scenes, and all the acting — all of it, especially the characters who aren’t getting much buzz.

Should have been nominated: Four Lions. Chris Morris’s wonderful farce about terrorism deserved more attention than it got. Instead of: “The Kids Are Alright.”

BEST ACTOR

Will win: Colin Firth. I’m fine with that.

Should win: Colin Firth. You see?

Should have been nominated: Michael Shannon from “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?” As I keep saying, he’s either a great actor or a crazy person who keeps breaking onto movie sets. Instead of: Jeff Bridges in “True Grit.”

BEST ACTRESS:

Will win: Natalie Portman. It’s the choice between gold-plating the box office star (Portman) and rewarding the older actress who keeps getting passed over (Bening) and I’d bet on the gold-plating. I can’t be the only person liking “The Kids Are Alright” less in retrospect.

Should win: Nicole Kidman. I don’t even like Kidman that much, but “Rabbit Hole” was the best I’ve ever seen her — more emotionally devastating than Portman because there are no pyrotechnics to help her out.

Should have been nominated: Hallie Stanfield should have been in this category, but she wasn’t, because of the horse race. Instead of: Michelle Williams.