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 and ABC’s site at 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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