Feb 242011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Best Animated Film
This year’s best animated film category is one of the strongest showings in recent memory. You could literally pick any of the three movies as the winner. “How to Train Your Dragon” was a load of fun, “The Illusionist” delivered artsy affection, and “Toy Story 3” was a beautiful finale to an endearing series. The winner? “Toy Story 3.” The Academy likes Pixar.

Best Supporting Actor
This category is a two-horse race, with Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush battling it out. Bale is getting the majority of the buzz for his screen stealing performance as the ex-fighter, drug addict Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter.” But if I had my way, Rush would get the nod for his captivating performance as King George VI’s speech therapist in “The King’s Speech.”

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo basically has this category locked up. Her performance as the mother of boxers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter” will not be denied by Oscar.

Best Actor
All hail the king. Look for Colin Firth to win best actor for his depiction of King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Not only did he have to establish a convincing stutter for his role, but he had to successfully play off of Rush’s aforementioned performance as his bumbling therapist. Firth did that and more.

Best Actress
Natalie Portman is the front-runner and my pick to win best actress for her mind-bending performance as ballerina Nina Sayers in “Black Swan.” The film gave her a role of a lifetime and she played it up. Annette Bening stands a shot for an upset for her role in “The Kids Are Alright,” but Portman should bring home the Oscar.

Best Director
I’m still confused as to why Christopher Nolan got snubbed in this category for “Inception.” Nonetheless, the best director of 2010 is still there, and that is David Fincher. Like all of his films, every detail of “The Social Network” was done to perfection, with narrative intrigue and visual splendor. There may be a possible upset with Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech,” but my pick is for Fincher.

Best Picture
Even with 10 nominees, the award for best picture is a toss up between “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech.” Back in October, “The Social Network” essentially had this award in the bag, but has since faded in lieu of buzz for Hooper’s project.

Although both are worthy of the prize, I’ll stick to my word that “The Social Network” should win. Every aspect of it was done so flawlessly, where two hours of nerds talking to each other became something captivating and defining for our generation. But the Academy is known to go for historical adaptations, so “The King’s Speech” has a good chance to win as well.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached verve@collegian.com.

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