Statuesque: Drew’s Last-Minute Oscar Predictions

I’ve been writing these Statuesque posts since mid-October, weighing the ups and downs in the tumultuously wavy sea that is the Oscar race. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve argued about movies involving little kid vampires… And it’s almost over! For at least a few months or so, anyway. On Sunday night, the Oscar will be dispensed out on ABC. All we can do is watch and eat queso and chips. Actually, forget the queso and chips. We’re trying to watch our weight. Yes, even on Oscar night. Now, I’ll run down my picks for what WILL win and what SHOULD win in all the major categories. I’ll be back next week with the really-for-real last Statuesque of the season – the Oscar post-mortem!

Best Picture

What Will Win:The King’s Speech‘. As much as it pains me, this perfectly enjoyable, robustly-acted but dramatically inert (What exactly is the conflict? The major theme?) period picture will almost undoubtedly snap the Best Picture prize. If it does, it’ll be looked back on like ‘Crash‘ (which bested ‘Brokeback Mountain‘) or ‘How Green Was My Valley’ (which triumphed over ‘Citizen Kane’) as a truly mind-boggling Best Picture win. It’s cute and all, but what else is it, besides a royal buddy movie?

What Should Win:The Social Network‘. Duh. No other movie encapsulated 2010 like this film. No other movie was as technically proficient and emotionally gripping, as admirable as it was identifiable. And no other movie moved like this – it’s the sonic whoosh to ‘The King’s Speech’ laid-back cough.

Best Animated Feature

What Will Win:Toy Story 3‘. Honestly, this is completely deserved. It’s one of the best films of the year and a total achievement – both from a technical standpoint and from the fact that it made people bawl their eyes out. But Pixar has already had its moment in the sun. Although this would be the one and only ‘Toy Story’ entry to be awarded the Best Animated Feature Award, how about giving it to…

What Should Win: …either other nominee, ‘The Illusionist’ or ‘How to Train Your Dragon‘? ‘The Illusionist’, a nearly silent, heartbreaking tale of an aged magician and his relationship with a young girl, would be a lovely, off-the-beaten-path choice. (However, it should feel lucky to be nominated over ‘Tangled‘). ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, on the other hand, is a bold new direction for DreamWorks Animation. It veers away from the pithy, pop culture-laden terrain (I recently watched ‘Shrek Forever After‘ – ick!) and towards transcendent artistry. That kind of thing should be encouraged. Via Oscars.

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Colin Firth, ‘The King’s Speech’. He’s great in the movie, no doubt, but he was even better as the heartbroken homosexual in last year’s luminous ‘A Single Man‘. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and pretend that he’s receiving it for ‘A Single Man’, and that’ll make things better. And no, his win won’t make ‘Mamma Mia!‘ any more acceptable.

Who Should Win: Javier Bardem, ‘Biutiful’. Just in terms of character, Bardem has to convey so much in this performance that it blows my mind. Think about it – he’s a street hustler who has terminal cancer and can speak to ghosts. There was no other performance like it this year. Despite the movie’s oppressive grimness, Bardem gave me a reason to smile.

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan‘. As Nina, the psychologically fractured ballerina who has to fight demons both literal and metaphoric, Portman beautifully pulls off an incredibly demanding role, both emotionally and physically. And she does so while keeping the movie’s high camp tone intact. Not an easy feat.

Who Should Win: Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’. It’s the kind of bravado performance that wins Oscars… deservedly so. I loved this movie and I loved her in it. Without Portman’s stellar performance, the movie would have easily crumbled, turning into a mushy, semi-erotic fantasy. Portman keeps it grounded. And funny. She earned her Oscar. Big time.

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Geoffrey Rush, ‘The King’s Speech’. I’m feeling a little frisky tonight, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Oscar voters, mostly older white folks who love movies that makes them feel warm and fuzzy, will award Rush the gold for his sensitive and funny portrayal of the king’s speech therapist… Even if he could have done the performance in his sleep while wearing his full ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ regalia.

Who Should Win: Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter‘. I’ve often described ‘The Fighter’ as like a ball of electricity. Bale’s performance single-handedly gives that ball most of its watts. As the drug-addled brother to Mark Wahlberg’s titular hero, he’s a conflicted character, full of self-loathing and self-aggrandizing. Bale totally transforms, per usual, without any of the “actorly” self consciousness that usually goes along with such a performance.

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo, ‘The Fighter’. Despite her ill-advised self promotion, critics and audiences ate up her turn as a roughhewn Boston mother who pushes both of her sons into uncomfortable situations. She’s admittedly great, although a little bit too show-offy at times. (And her homemade Oscar campaign was laughable.) I loved the movie but would instead suggest…

Who Should Win: Amy Adams, ‘The Fighter’. Like Wahlberg, Adams is frequently overlooked because her performance is so subtle. She’s just as on-point as the other actors, but lets her character come out naturally and in bursts of extreme behavior. When she attacks the sisters on her front porch, I die. She’s so good and she brings across something that you rarely see in Hollywood these days: slightly pudgy, working-class sexy.

Best Director

Who Will Win: Tom Hooper, ‘The King’s Speech’. Ugh. This pains me. Hooper’s direction of ‘The King’s Speech’ was one of a filmmaker who doesn’t trust his script and feels the need to overcompensate with unnecessarily convoluted camera movements and angle choices. (What was that? A fish-eye lens?) He was probably going for “painterly,” but it comes across as “desperate.” How this clown won the DGA award is beyond me.

Who Should Win: David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’. Not only is Fincher one of the greatest living filmmakers, he was unfairly overlooked for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘ and ‘Zodiac‘ (which wasn’t even nominated). There’s no one else who could have put ‘The Social Network’ together the way that Fincher did, no one who could have made the movie pop and resonate in the same wonderful and miraculous ways. Since he’s slipping into more escapist fare for his next few films (including doing ‘20,000 Leagues under the Sea’ for Disney), this might be his last chance in a while for Oscar gold. We shouldn’t let him leave empty handed.


  1. Drew, I agree with your “will win” on all counts except Best Supporting Actress…I think the Academy is going to give it to Hailee Steinfeld.

    I agree with all your “should wins” except for Best Actor. I’d give that to Jesse Eisenberg.

  2. I think that Steinfeld and Bale are going to take the supporting categories. Geoffrey Rush already has an Oscar (which is something the voters do take into consideration). There seems to be a general consensus that Bale runs circles all over the rest of the cast in The Fighter, and that he’s the most entertaining thing about the movie.

    The Supporting Actress category often goes to the “quirky” pick, and a child actor has won before (Anna Paquin). I’ve heard as many complaints about Melissa Leo’s performance as I have compliments, but just about everyone agrees that Steinfeld is amazing.

    Keep in mind that I am TERRIBLE at predicting Oscars, though. 🙂

  3. BostonMA

    Drew you’re seriously telling me that The Social Network is the most “emotionally gripping” film of the year? really? the same film that came out a few months after Toy Story 3, a movie that made “Top Critics”/grown men cry a river of tears (something you mention) and several months after that of Inception, a film whose climactic ending is built entirely on the emotional connection between the main character and his children? i get that Fincher’s latest is your #1 of the year but don’t use false praise to drive your point even further home on a film that was purposely made to feel cold.

    also, how can you sincerely say that Toy Story 3 SHOULDN’T WIN Best Animated Feature, after you state that it deserves it?

    it doesn’t matter if Pixar’s already had their time of shining previously. The Academy Awards shouldn’t be about spreading the trophies around to make everyone happy (although that does tend to happen). they should be about rewarding the best of the best, which, like you state, is Toy Story 3. how can you make such a glaringly nonsensical contradiction?

    if the Oscars went the way you seem to want them to, then we’d be experiencing something similar to that of a kindergarten soccer game where the event ends in a tie, so that no losers are present, even if the difference in talent produced is significant and substantial.

  4. Drew

    Hello everyone!

    (I’m going to address everyone’s comments, round-robin style, because I’m short on time and high on cocaine. That last part was a joke. Or was it?)


    I would love to see Steinfeld win for “True Grit.” She was dynamite. And she handled the marble-mouthed Coen dialogue in a way that few actors, let alone first time actors that haven’t hit their sixteen birthday, could wrangle. I say bully for her. But it’s the women of “The Fighter’s” category to lose.

    And I meant that “The Illusionist” was lucky to squeak by a nomination (past “Tangled”) because “Tangled” was so well liked and it was Disney’s 50th animated feature, blah blah blah. It wasn’t about quality but more like goodwill.

    And, you know, Pixar has dominated the category for so long that I think it’s time to spread the wealth. All three films are more or less masterpieces, but “The Illusionist” and “How to Train Your Dragon” felt genuinely NEW, where as “Toy Story 3,” as excellent as it is… is still the third movie in a franchise that we’ve very, very, very fucking familiar with by now. (I’d also take perverse delight in Dean DuBlois and Chris Sanders, the directors of “Dragon,” who were unceremoniously fired from Disney after Lasseter was installed as the creative godhead, beating the guys that fired them.)

    And, yes, I found “The Social Network” to be an incredibly emotional film. It’s about greed, jealousy, lust, betrayal – all of those fundamental emotional building blocks that make great drama. If you can’t identify with getting dumped by a pretty girl and wanting to do something that’ll make her see the error of her ways, well, then you might be as plastic as those toys from “Toy Story 3.”

    • BostonMA

      again, how is “spreading the wealth” justifiable?

      it DOES NOT MATTER if we’re familiar with Toy Story (obviously we are since it’s a trilogy Drew). by your logic, The Godfather Part II winning Best Picture and Best Director in 1974 was a completely wrong and incorrect decision and something less flawless should’ve won.

      you can’t go down the “well they’re all more or less masterpieces” route after you listed Toy Story 3 as the 3rd best film of 2010 (in your own personal list mind you) and failed to even mention the other two in that same listing. Toy Story 3 IS the Best Animated Feature of the year, so it HAS to win the Oscar. any other argument by a man who already agrees with this statement is ridiculous and absurd.

      you can’t justify the unjustifiable Drew. it’s senseless, silly, and flat out confusing.

      also, there is next to no emotion in The Social Network. aside from the audience feeling slightly bad for Garfield’s character, who, after all, acted naive enough to pretty much beg his pals to fuck him over, there is no heart. at all. you validly list the themes of the film in greed, jealousy, lust, betrayal, but once again falsely note those as reasons for why you have described the film as emotionally gripping. that’s also absurd, as EVERY theme of human interaction can be related to the emotions of the humans interacting, so there again goes out the window your irrational statements.

      the movie is about a bunch of savage dogs ripping each other off continuously until they all realize at the end that they acted like HUGE ASSHOLES (arguably the biggest theme of the film BTW), but the cold picture highly benefits from the terrific talents of David Fincher, who brings the otherwise aloof and unrelatable film to great heights.

      oh, and watching the main character act like a total jerkoff to his girlfriend at the BEGINNING of the film, where there is ZERO character development thus far, and getting emotionally GRIPPED by that makes me wonder if you did indeed snort a few lines of coke while you were formulating your post.


        Keep in mind, Drew’s opinion isn’t going to shape the Oscar results either way and, as Josh points out, they don’t actually matter.

        • BostonMA

          i’m not angry. if i appear to be then my bad..i’m just trying to make a solid point.

          but Dick, i didn’t mean to make it seem like “YOUR OPINION IS DIFFERENT FROM MINE THEREFORE I HATE YOU!” was what i was all about or implying.

          what i meant was the Drew had said himself that Toy Story 3 is the best animated film of the year, and that it’s deserving of the trophy..but then he says that it SHOULDN’T win, and that doesn’t make sense to me at all.

          when i said that – “Toy Story 3 IS the Best Animated Feature of the year, so it HAS to win the Oscar.” – i meant that as from Drew’s writing perspective, not from me disagreeing with him and telling him that his opinion is wrong. i hope this clears up the confusion.

          • I was referring to your assertion that Drew had to be high to feel emotionally invested in The Social Network actually. It’s a needless attack.

            And I actually do agree on Toy Story. Best animated feature an, in my opinion, best movie of the year. I’d like to see it get the Oscar for both.

          • BostonMA

            Dick, i purposely “attacked” Drew with the “high on cocaine” bit in reference to The Social Network he first (again using the quotations) “attacked” me in not being emotionally gripped by the film, where he said this:

            “If you can’t identify with getting dumped by a pretty girl and wanting to do something that’ll make her see the error of her ways, well, then you might be as plastic as those toys from “Toy Story 3.””

            again, i hope this clears up the confusion. i was simply responding in a manner that i feel fit. Drew used the plastic-ness of the toys in Toy Story to throw a knock at me, so i equally countered by taking the rather unfunny (IMO) joke of snorting coke and using it in my Social Network description.

        • Alex


          In terms of prediction, it should be noted that there have been several cases where the Oscar has clearly been given to recognize more than just the individual film. Toy Story 3 will win (though I actually watched ‘Dragon’ twice in one night, I loved it so much) but it will be a win for the entire trilogy, much like the Oscars given to Return of the King were clearly meant for the entire trilogy.

          Something similar happens for actors. Colin Firth will win, there’s no debating that, but I think his win will be because of his entire body of work, including ‘A Serious Man.’ Dame Judi Dench’s win for ‘Shakespeare in Love’ was obviously because she had been so frightfully snubbed year before for ‘Her Majesty Mrs. Brown.’ Morgan Freeman’s win for Million Dollar Baby was virtually a Lifetime Achievement Award, since there were certainly performances for which he deserved the award more. Colin Firth is a remarkable actor, but I think his win on Sunday will be less about ‘The King’s Speech’ and more about his entire body of work. If Geoffrey Rush wins (no guarantees, because I think they might actually go with Bale) I think it will be for the same reason.

  5. EM

    C’mon, Drew…even if you still haven‘t bothered to see The King’s Speech, surely you should have been able to glean from cursory descriptions its principal conflict, i.e., Bertie’s (George VI’s) struggle with his stutter, in the classic Man vs. Himself mold. I think one could also make a decent case for Man vs. Destiny. There are various other conflicts within the film; I think the three most important are all Man vs. Man conflicts pitting Bertie against his speech therapist, his father, and his brother.

    Theme is often more difficult to analyze and summarize. For The King’s Speech, I think the principal theme could be said to be something about overcoming one’s limitations: the courage to do so vs. the fear of hiding from those limitations, the value of accepting help in overcoming one’s limitations, the value of friendship in overcoming one’s limitations, the unforeseen rewards begotten by the struggle to overcome those limitations, or something along those lines.

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