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2011 Academy Award Predictions: The King’s Social Network

2011 Academy Award Predictions: The King’s Social Network

The King of England vs. The King of the internet
Feb 21, 2011

For film journalists and bloggers, the year 2010 doesn’t really come to an end until the night of February 27th in the US — or the morning of February 28th in Australia — where anybody who’s somebody in Hollywood will be seen walking the red carpet for the 83rd Academy Awards.  Usually, though, the winners are dictated by the dozen or so award ceremonies that preceded the Oscars, which makes for a fairly dull watch for those of us playing at home beyond the occasional drunken speech and wardrobe malfunction. This year, however, I’m shocked to admit that I’m not as sure as I usually would be with my predictions. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been paying less attention than I usually would to the award season, but it’s more likely a result of just how exemplary 2010 was for cinema. In any case, I’m more excited this year for the Oscars than I’ve been in a long, long time as February 27th doesn’t look like it will be just another Groundhog Day.

Last year, the title for Best Picture was a David vs. Goliath duel between Kathryn Bigelow’s indie Iraq war movie The Hurt Locker and James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster Avatar. Rather predictably, that battle panned out much like it did in the Bible, with The Hurt Locker trumping Avatar in all the key categories. This year, the front-runners for Best Picture are David Fincher’s The Social Network and Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech. Unlike last year’s favourites, these two films are quite similar; they’re both character-driven biopics, a category the Academy loves, about miscommunication in a communicative age. The two biggest differences? One is set in the past, the other is set in the present. And more crucially, one is British, the other is American.

These differences are key to why I believe The Social Network will take home gold, despite my personal preference of The King’s Speech. As a biopic about Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook and one of the most influential figures still living today, The Social Network has a considerable degree of relevance that The King’s Speech cannot match. Fincher’s film is a unique product of its time, which is why the Academy will probably try and cement its place in history as the film of the year. Furthermore, The Social Network was made in America, which means there’s a greater chance that those involved in the production are in similar circles to the voting members of the Academy, most of whom (but certainly not all) are US citizens. My point? Well, as they often say, it’s not about what you know, but who you know. That’s why Fincher, who has been a staple in Hollywood for nearly two decades, has the upper hand over Hooper, who is only now making his first splash from across the pond. Yes, it’s an ugly way of looking at it, but why do you think British films tend to dominate the British Film and Television Awards (BAFTA’s) and American films tend to dominate the Academy Awards? Bias is unavoidable.

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Of course, what’s exciting about this year’s Oscars is that there is a definite possibility that neither The Social Network nor The King’s Speech will win. Other contenders such as Black Swan, The Fighter and True Grit are all in with a chance, as each have demonstrated bursts of momentum throughout the awards season.  Sure, they’re all underdogs in the race for Best Picture, but as the saying goes, every dog has its day. Time will tell if that day is February 28th, 2011.

Below is a list of all the nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards, with my predictions highlighted in red:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Black Swan

The Fighter


The Kids are All Right

The King’s Speech

The Social Network

127 Hours

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)

Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)

Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem (Biutiful)

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

James Franco (127 Hours)

Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale (The Fighter)

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)

Jeremy Renner (The Town)

Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)

Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams (The Fighter)

Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)

Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3

Best Documentary Short Subject

Killing in the Name

Poster Girl

Strangers No More

Sun Come Up

The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Short Film (Animated)

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 Short Film (Live Action)

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 Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


The King’s Speech

True Grit

Achievement in Cinematography

Black Swan (Matthew Libatique)

Inception (Wally Pfister)

The King’s Speech (Danny Cohen)

The Social Network (Jeff Cronenweth)

True Grit (Roger Deakins)

Achievement in Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)

I Am Love (Antonella Cannarozzi)

The King’s Speech (Jenny Beaven)

The Tempest (Sandy Powell)

True Grit (Mary Zophres)

Achievement in Directing

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)

David O. Russell (The Fighter)

Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

David Fincher (The Social Network)

Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Best Documentary Feature

Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)

Gasland Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)

Inside Job Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)

Restrepo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)

Waste Land Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)

Achievement in Makeup

Barney’s Version

The Way Back

The Wolfman

Achievement in Film Editing

Black Swan (Andrew Weisblum)

The Fighter (Pamela Martin)

The King’s Speech (Tariq Anwar)

127 Hours (Jon Harris)

The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Biutiful (Mexico)

Dogtooth (Greece)

In a Better World (Denmark)

Incendies (Canada)

Hors la Loi (Algeria)

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)

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

“I See the Light” from Tangled Music and Lyric 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

Achievement in Sound Editing


Toy Story 3

TRON: Legacy

True Grit


Achievement in Sound Mixing


The King’s Speech


The Social Network

True Grit

Achievement in Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1



Iron Man 2

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)

The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)

True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)

Original Screenplay

Another Year (Mike Leigh)

The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silverand Paul Tamasy)

Inception (Christopher Nolan)

The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)

The King’s Speech (David Seidler)

Follow the author Anders Wotzke on Twitter.

Category: Opinion
Date Published: February 21st, 2011
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