This year’s Oscars will either be completely predictable, or there will be a surprise or two waiting for us next Sunday. ¬†Here are a few upsets that I think have a real possibility of happening.
Best Picture – although it’s still 99% probability (the DGA stat is almost unbeatable) that The King’s Speech will win, that little teeny 1% is still hanging in there and The Social Network could indeed upset.
Best Director – I don’t think either Hooper or Fincher are a done deal. ¬†There could be a split and a third unexpected director could emerge – making this almost identical to the year Gladiator won Best Pic – 12 nominations. ¬†Ang Lee and Ridley Scott split the vote, allowing Steven Soderbergh the win. This year, the Soderbergh might be Aronofsky or O. Russell.
Best Actress – Anne Thompson, Pete Hammond and a few others are predicting Bening to upset Ms. Natalie Portman. ¬†To me, this is a replay of last year with Streep V. Bullock: you only need look to the nom count. But an upset could happen.
Best Supporting Actress – the most wide open race to call with many factors heading in. ¬†Melissa Leo didn’t quite have it in the bag heading into the race, despite the number of critics awards. ¬†She’s up against the leading role of Hailee Steinfeld who has ten nominations standing behind her and the potential to be the one True Grit big win. ¬†The big problem for Leo is that Steinfeld’s is lead, but she also has two more strikes against her: Amy Adams as strong competition, and the bigger problem of Christian Bale (as was pointed out on Twitter yesterday). If voters want to acknowledge The Fighter they might do it with one or the other, Bale or Leo (I am predicting Rush and Leo). ¬†This category is so confused right now that there is no technical “frontrunner” in it. ¬†I don’t think Leo’s ad campaign hurt her, rather, I think it tips the win in her favor. ¬†But any of the five could win and I would not be surprised. ¬†All of this clears the way for the “heart light” win, Helena Bonham Carter, as Anne Thompson is predicting.
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush’s win would be considered an upset, but it is just like the AMPAS to do something like this. ¬†Rush is likable, the other half to Colin Firth, and has won before. ¬†Bale plays a more unlikable character (like MUCH MUCH MORE UNLIKABLE) and isn’t starring in the film favorited to win Best Pic. ¬†Bale deserves it (only because Rush has already won an Oscar). But wouldn’t Bale have won the BAFTA?
Editing: We’ll find out this weekend if the editors are going to award The Social Network for its flawless, memorable editing, or if the sweep is real. ¬†If The King’s Speech wins the Eddie? ¬†Well, stick another fork in it. Kris Tapley is predicting The King’s Speech to win for editing at the Oscars. I’d say that would count that an upset.
Score: The King’s Speech is probably the frontrunner to win this, despite some optimistic predictions that The Social Network will (does anyone really think Trent Reznor will be an Oscar winner? ¬†Cough cough 3 Six Mafia cough cough). ¬†But the score I think could upset is actually Inception’s, which is, to my mind, probably the best “traditional” score of the year.
Documentary: I feel like Inside Job could be upset by any of the others – one is Exit Through the Gift Shop – Banksy hates them and the Oscars love people who hate them. ¬†It’s also hellagood. ¬†The real surprise in the category and the dark horse is, to my mind, Waste Land. ¬†It remains one of the few films to move me to tears this year. ¬†Retrepo is INCREDIBLE. ¬†It could also be the winner here. ¬†All of the docs, it’s worth saying, are magnificent. ¬†The best category fill of the year.
Animated Feature: It’s Toy Story 3 by a mile, but if there is a teeny tiny upset possible, that sweet little How To Train Your Dragon could sneak in there. ¬†TS3 has a Best Pic nod, so that kind of silences any argument.
What potential upsets are you seeing? ¬†Which categories seem totally locked to you?