Colin Firth and Natalie Portman are Oscar shoo-ins; everything else up for grabs: Oscar predictions

UPDATED: Winners are indicated with ♦s.

I made informed guesses in 20 of the 24 categories; of those, I guessed 14 correctly. Which is a much better than chance.

Some thoughts on the winners and losers here.

Here’s an at-a-glance look at my picks for Sunday night’s Academy Awards — projected winners are Xed. Keep in mind: this isn’t a list of whom I think should win Oscars but whom I think will win.

I haven’t made predictions in categories for which I have not seen enough of the nominated films to make a reasonable guess.

As always, take these predictions with a grain of salt. No one really understands how the Academy thinks.

(See the Academy’s site at Oscars.org and ABC’s site at Oscars.com for your further Oscar needs.)
Perfomance by an 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 should win
[   ] James Franco in 127 Hours

Perfomance by an actor in a supporting role
[ × ] Christian Bale in The Fighter
[   ] John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone should win
[   ] Jeremy Renner in The Town
[   ] Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
[   ] Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Andrew Garfield in either Never Let Me Go or The Social Network)

Perfomance by an 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 should win &diams
[   ] Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Noomi Rapace in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Perfomance by an 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 should win
[ × ] Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom

Best animated feature film
[   ] How to Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
[   ] The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet
[ × ] Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich should win
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Despicable Me)

Achievment in art direction
[ × ] Alice in Wonderland, Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara ♦
[   ] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
[   ] Inception, Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat should win
[   ] The King’s Speech, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
[   ] True Grit, Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Achievment in cinematography
[   ] Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
[ × ] Inception, Wally Pfister should win
[   ] The King’s Speech, Danny Cohen
[   ] The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
[   ] True Grit, Roger Deakins

Achievment in costume design
[ × ] Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood ♦
[   ] I Am Love, Antonella Cannarozzi
[   ] The King’s Speech, Jenny Beavan
[   ] The Tempest, Sandy Powell should win
[   ] True Grit, Mary Zophres

Achievment in directing
[ × ] Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky should win
[   ] The Fighter, David O. Russell
[   ] The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper ♦
[   ] The Social Network, David Fincher
[   ] True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Mark Romanek for Never Let Me Go)

Best documentary feature
[   ] Exit through the Gift Shop, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz should win
[ × ] Gasland, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
[   ] Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs ♦
[   ] Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
[   ] Waste Land, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Best documentary short subject
[   ] “Killing in the Name,” Jed Rothstein
[   ] “Poster Girl,” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
[   ] “Strangers No More,” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon ♦
[   ] “Sun Come Up,” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
[   ] “The Warriors of Qiugang,” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Achievment in film editing
[ × ] Black Swan, Andrew Weisblum should win
[   ] The Fighter, Pamela Martin
[   ] The King’s Speech, Tariq Anwar
[   ] 127 Hours, Jon Harris
[   ] The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter ♦
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Lee Smith for Inception)

Best foreign language film
[   ] Biutiful, Mexico
[   ] Dogtooth, Greece
[   ] In a Better World, Denmark ♦
[   ] Incendies, Canada
[   ] Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi), Algeria

Achievment in makeup
[   ] Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
[   ] The Way Back, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
[ × ] The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey should win

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
[   ] How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
[   ] Inception, Hans Zimmer
[   ] The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
[   ] 127 Hours, A.R. Rahman
[ × ] The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross should win

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
[   ] “Coming Home” from Country Strong, Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey should win
[   ] “I See the Light” from Tangled, Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
[   ] “If I Rise” from 127 Hours, Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
[ × ] “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman ♦

Best motion picture of the year
[   ] Black Swan, Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers should win
[   ] 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
(criminally overlooked for a nom: Never Let Me Go)

Best animated short film
[   ] “Day & Night,” Teddy Newton
[   ] “The Gruffalo,” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
[   ] “Let’s Pollute,” Geefwee Boedoe
[   ] “The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann ♦
[   ] “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary),” Bastien Dubois

Best live action short film
[   ] “The Confession,” Tanel Toom
[   ] “The Crush,” Michael Creagh
[   ] “God of Love,” Luke Matheny ♦
[   ] “Na Wewe,” Ivan Goldschmidt
[   ] “Wish 143,” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Achievement in sound editing
[ × ] Inception, Richard King should win
[   ] Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
[   ] Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
[   ] True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
[   ] Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger

Achievement in sound mixing
[ × ] Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick should win
[   ] The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
[   ] Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
[   ] The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
[   ] True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Achievement in visual effects
[   ] Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
[   ] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
[   ] Hereafter, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
[ × ] Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb should win
[   ] Iron Man 2, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Adapted screenplay
[   ] 127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy should win
[ × ] 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

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 should win
[   ] The Kids Are All Right, Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
[   ] The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler ♦

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