It’s a simple formula: respected thespian disability = Oscar. This means that Colin Firth is a shoo-in for his fine turn in
The King’s Speech. In a perfect world, though, the award would go to
Ryan Reynolds for his anguished performance in the under-seen
Buried—he’s the only actor in the film, and he’s surprisingly great.
Michelle Williams in the lacerating
Blue Valentine, about a marriage on the rocks. Who would have guessed that one of the members of the
Dawson’s Creek crew would mature into the best actress of her generation?
Best Supporting Actor
If only we could just vote for the entire
boyish ensemble of
The Social Network. But, with apologies to Andrew Garfield (who’ll probably get nominated and lose to Christian Bale),
Armie Hammer’s CGI-assisted work as twins—those impeccably coiffed Winklevii—stands out for its degree of difficulty: playing two distinct characters with the same scarily perfect face.
Best Supporting Actress
We think that the Academy might go with Barbara Hershey’s stage-mom-from-hell in
Black Swan, but she’s not even the scariest movie mother of the year. That would be
Jacki Weaver in the Aussie standout
Animal Kingdom, playing the wily, ruthless matriarch of a black-sheep criminal clan.
Roman Polanski, who hot-wired the potentially drab political thriller
The Ghost Writer into a hilarious black comedy.
We’ll go geeky here and cite Daft Punk’s groovy, synth-heavy score for
TRON: Legacy. Plus, you know that the masked duo would knock a neon-tinged Oscar production number the park. Our geek consolation is that Trent Reznor will get his award as part of a
Social Network sweep.
Black Swan deserves this likely win for Portman’s get-up as the badass bird of the title—a costume so iconic, it has already been parodied on
30 Rock and
The Social Network, and we’re okay with that. Fincher’s early-2000s period piece is a pretty great movie. We’d be much happier with it getting Best Picture instead of a tasteful piece of Oscar bait like
The King’s Speech.
2-1 Co-host James Franco makes repeated jokes about the show running 127 Hours long.
3-2 Justin Timberlake wears glasses and a three-piece suit to prove that he is a Serious Actor.
70-1 Someone actually believes that Justin Timberlake is a Serious Actor.
15-1 Björk rushes the stage during Natalie Portman’s acceptance speech to accuse her of stealing the singer’s swan dress.
300-1 The producers of The Social Network thank Mark Zuckerberg for all his support.
50-1 Inception mysteriously wins Best Picture after the Academy’s 5,000 members all have this really weird dream.
5-2 James Franco pretends to smoke an Oscar statuette like a bong.
25-1The Academy puts up the wrong photo, confusing Michelle Williams the Blue Valentine actress with Michelle Williams the Destiny’s Child singer.*
*Those odds would be higher, but the Broadcast Film Critics Association actually did this.