Just walk away: final predictions

Posted by · 4:45 pm · February 25th, 2011

While Guy is pulling his hair out (I know the feeling), I’m backing off.  At some point you have to put your pencil down and step away, and so I am.

For me, the most difficult categories to pick — and the ones I found myself flip-flopping on down the stretch — were Best Supporting Actress and Best Documentary (Feature).  Interestingly, both proved nerve-racking for completely different reasons.

In the case of supporting actress, you have a race that felt fluid (easily a three-way sprint) coming into phase two, and a situation later complicated by an advertising hiccup from the frontrunner and the charm factor going way up for a contender in the expected Best Picture winner.  In the case of documentary feature, you have five stellar films that are — no kidding — evenly favored among the committee voters.

Other fields are tough, even if they seem to have two viable options.  Best Costume Design, for instance.  Or Best Original Song.  And don’t get me started on Best Foreign Language Film, which has seemingly boiled down to a tight two-way race.

I’m banking on seven Oscars for “The King’s Speech,” which puts it in league with “Shakespeare in Love” and “Dances With Wolves,” two that have served as comparison pieces for the film in the awards show frame.  A distant second is “Inception” with three wins, by my estimation, and then fellow Best Picture nominees “The Fighter,” “The Social Network” and “Toy Story 3” taking home two apiece.

That’s my vision of the evening.  Others have different expectations, largely because instant revisionism has left the frontrunner perceived in the media as a lesser winner in Oscar’s history books.  You’ll hear four wins in a number of quarters (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay and a single tech honor).  That would compute for me if it were a more modest modern narrative like recent Best Picture winners “No Country for Old Men,” “The Departed” and “Million Dollar Baby,” but it’s a period piece that gives the Academy a chance to feel okay chalking up their favorite film in multiple areas.

Others say six, which I wouldn’t argue against strongly.  But expect at least five, because no Best Picture winner nominated for 12 Oscars has ever won less.

Or maybe I’m just wrong.  Entirely possible.

In any case, you can find my final predictions here (and they are noted in the sidebar).  Each category is linked to its specific Oscar Guide page.  It’s worth mentioning that only four categories — Best Supporting Actress, Best Documentary (Feature), Best Documentary (Short Subject) and Best Short Film (Live Action) — have been updated since we started the Oscar Guide, so if you don’t want to dig back into everything, you can just check out those revisions.  And we have one final entry in the series left, Best Picture, which will go up tomorrow.

If I change anything, I’ll let you know.  But I’m going to try not to.  You can only think about this stuff so long before the epiphanies begin to dry up.  Meanwhile, you can check out Gerard’s (finalized) predictions here, and Guy’s (almost finalized) predictions here.  They are, as always, linked at the bottom of the right sidebar.

And now, we wait.  The Independent Spirit Awards are tomorrow night, which should be a nice appetizer to the big show.  And then it’s Sunday.  And then it’s the Oscars.  And then…finally…it’s over.

[Photo: The Weinstein Company]

→ 29 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

29 responses so far

  • 1 2-25-2011 at 5:08 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Actor in a Leading Role
    Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
    (alt.: James Franco, “127 Hours”)

    Wow…the Academy loves this friggin guy! Move over Tom Hanks and Spencer Tracy.

  • 2 2-25-2011 at 5:11 pm

    Jim T said...

    Yep, I predict Bridges too. I don’t understand how others don’t see something that obvious. ;)

    You’ve survived this long! Hang on for a few more hours :)

  • 3 2-25-2011 at 5:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...



  • 4 2-25-2011 at 5:25 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    if natalie wins the indie spirit for actress and then loses the oscar that curse is gonna get really scary!

  • 5 2-25-2011 at 5:29 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I’m glad to see you back on the side of “Gift Shop” for Doc. I imagine the fear of you predicting something else and it actually winning in the end being the deciding factor. just a thought

  • 6 2-25-2011 at 5:29 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I’m glad to see you back on the side of “Gift Shop” for Doc. I imagine the fear of you predicting something else and it actually winning in the end being the deciding factor. just a thought

  • 7 2-25-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sorry for the sluggishness of the site suddenly, guys. I have no idea where that came from.

  • 8 2-25-2011 at 5:56 pm

    sam said...

    what do you mean the charm factor going way up in the best supporting actress race?

  • 9 2-25-2011 at 6:02 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “…for a contender in the expected Best Picture winner.”

  • 10 2-25-2011 at 6:11 pm

    Joseph said...

    Looking good. Curious why you opted for God of Love over Na Wewe.

  • 11 2-25-2011 at 7:00 pm

    Samuel said...

    I think Exit will get it. Granted, I’ve only seen three of the five (Exit, Inside Job and Restrepo) but Exit is easily the best of them. Restrepo is visceral and exciting, but lacks a strong narrative, Inside Job is arresting and informative but not especially insightful. Exit is engrossing, entertaining and gives you a lot to talk about.

    I wonder if maybe Exit will catch the zeitgeisty feeling that TSN seems to have missed out on.

  • 12 2-25-2011 at 7:24 pm

    'wardo said...

    “Or maybe I’m just wrong. Entirely possible.”

    I hope you’re wrong :(

  • 13 2-25-2011 at 7:43 pm

    San FranCinema said...

    I’ve been following the Oscars for more years than I can remember and have been reading Oscar blogs for half a decade. But this is the first year I really dove into InContention and… well, thanks. It’s been fun and entertaining and thought provoking. There’s been a lot of smart stuff on here, and a true sense of film appreciation, not merely “awards watching.”

    Plus, you’ve managed to do it all without going cuckoo, which is more than I can say for a couple of your colleagues out there in blog land.

    Now…we watch the show.

  • 14 2-25-2011 at 7:51 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I echo San FranCinema. I’ve visited incontention for a few years now. But I became much more interactive this year. And I visit everyday.

    I think it’s the best Oscar blog on the net. And I can’t thank Kris enough (and everyone really) for having a great place to talk about movies and the Oscars.

    I’ve laughed, I’ve learned, I’ve gotten annoyed, I’ve been enriched, and I’ve laughed again.

    The articles and ensuing conversations that come from them are a joy to experience.

    Thanks, again. :)

  • 15 2-25-2011 at 7:55 pm

    JJ1 said...

    And my final predics:

    pic – the king’s speech
    dir – the social network
    actor – firth
    actress – portman
    s actor – bale
    s actress – helena bonham carter
    original – the king’s speech
    adapted – the social network
    editing – the social network
    cin – true grit
    art – inception
    costumes – alice in wonderland
    make-up – wolfman
    sounds – inception
    fx – inception
    score – the king’s speech
    song – 127 hours
    foreign – in a better world
    doc – inside job
    strangers no more, madagascar, wish 143.


  • 16 2-25-2011 at 7:55 pm

    JJ1 said...

    woops, animated – toy story 3. a-duh.

  • 17 2-25-2011 at 9:20 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    Back to the director category, someone reminded me that the only thing Hooper has won is DGA. An important win, yes, but the only win. No critics awards, no globe, no BAFTA. How many directors have lost all of those things and gone on to win? The fact that the Brits are siding with Fincher is telling.

  • 18 2-25-2011 at 9:24 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    As well, with Nolan out of the picture, wouldn’t you think a lot of his votes would go Fincher? They are both technically savvy directors who appeal to a similar group of individuals.

    Just a thought.

  • 19 2-25-2011 at 10:04 pm

    Zac said...

    Here’s my predictions:

    Picture – The King’s Speech
    Director – Tom Hooper
    Actor- Colin Firth
    Actress – Natalie Portman
    Supporting Actor – Geoffrey Rush
    Supporting Actress – Hailee Steinfeld
    Original Screenplay – The King’s Speech
    Adapted Screenplay – The Social Network

    Art Direction – The King’s Speech
    Cinematography – The King’s Speech
    Costume Design – The King’s Speech
    Editing – The King’s Speech
    Makeup – The Wolfman
    Score – The King’s Speech
    Song – Toy Story 3
    Sound Editing – Inception
    Sound Mixing – Inception
    Visual Effects – Inception
    Animated Feature – Toy Story 3
    Foreign Language – In a Better World
    Documentary Feature – Inside Job
    Doc Short – Killing in the Name
    Animated Short – Day and Night
    Live Action Short – God of Love

    Final Tally (2 or more Oscars):

    The King’s Speech – 10
    Inception – 3
    Toy Story 3 – 2

  • 20 2-26-2011 at 12:01 am

    Jason Travis said...

    Sorry about the Best Screen Shots of the Year Kris- I didn’t mean to come off like that. I totally respect your choices and love your site, Its one of the few bookmarked on my macbook pro’s Most Visited toolbar- next to Latest Headlines and YouTube.


    Picture: “The King’s Speech”
    Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
    Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
    Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
    Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”
    Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
    Adapted Screenplay: “The Social Network”
    Original Screenplay: “The King’s Speech”
    Cinematography: “True Grit”
    Art Direction: “The King’s Speech”
    Costume Design: “The King’s Speech”
    Makeup: “The Wolfman”
    Film Editing: “The Social Network”
    Original Score: “The King’s Speech”
    Song: ‘If I Rise’, “127 Hours”
    Doc-Feature: “Wasteland”
    Foreign Film: “Biutiful”
    Sound Mixing: “Inception”
    Sound Editing: “Toy Story 3”
    Visual Effects: “Inception”
    Animated Feature: “Toy Story 3”

  • 21 2-26-2011 at 12:36 am

    karol said...

    hmm, you changed your pick to Exit Through the Gift Shop afterall? i wish you are wrong :P
    when i saw the movie, i got very irritated by it. a very populish mockumentary trying hard to be something artisitic & alternative. the audience in the cinema was laughing so hard, and i kept scratching my hear & wondering, what am i missing here? like it, but not love it. there were better DOCUMENTARIES this year, and i cannot imagine older voters (who usually are attending those Foreign/Documantery/Short screenings in majority), voting on something, let me call it politely, so ‘innovative’. in my book, it’s in the same league as Super Size Me, Sicko, Capturing the Friedmans.
    the Oscar will go, imho, to Inside Job or Waste Land. Ferguson didn’t have a luck in this category the last time the race was so close. i must say i was so bored by this documentary, and angry & frustrated at the same time, while watching it.
    Waste Land seems like a winner to me. but the recipient of IDA & Pare Lorenz award failed to garner any nominations from ACE-DGA-WGA combo, which are the best predictor here…

    i also need to share my doubts about Inception winning Best Sound. honestly, i don’t think it will be the best winner here, having very inconsistent sound mixing. looking at the history of this award in the last decade, the frontrunner rarely wins here:
    The Fellowship of the Rings losing to Black Hawk Down
    The Two Towers losing to Chicago
    Master & Commander losing to The Return of the King
    The Aviator losing to Ray
    No Country for Old Men losing to The Bourne Ultimatum (Transformers wasn’t really in the race ’cause it didn’t win anything)
    The Dark Knight losing to Slumdog Millionaire
    Avatar losing to The Hurt Locker.
    Gladiator, Dreamgirls & King Kong were the only safe bets that succeeded.
    my problem with Inception is that i don’t think it’s loved enough by the Academy members. the majority of voters didn’t get it. snubs in Best Director & Editing means something. but maybe i’m just being paranoid one day before the ceremony :P

  • 22 2-26-2011 at 1:32 am

    Simon Warrasch said...

    My Final Predictions are:

    Picture: The King’s Speech
    Director: David Fincher – The Social Network
    Lead Actor: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
    Lead Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
    Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter
    Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
    Screenplay: The King’s Speech
    Screenplay: The Social Network
    Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
    Foreign Language Film: Incendies (Canada)

  • 23 2-26-2011 at 3:25 am

    karol said...

    my predictions at the time looks like this:

    Picture – The King’s Speech (The Social Network)
    Director – Fincher, The Social Network (Hooper, The King’s Speech)
    Actor – Firth, The King’s Speech (Eisenberg, The Social Network)
    Actress – Portman, Black Swan (Bening, The Kids Are All Right)
    Supporting Actor – Bale, The Fighter (Rush, The King’s Speech)
    Supporting Actress – Leo, The Fighter (Steinfeld, True Grit)
    Original Screenplay – The King’s Speech (Inception)
    Adapted Screenplay – The Social Network (Toy Story 3)
    Art Direction – The King’s Speech (Alice in Wonderland)
    Costume Design – The King’s Speech (Alice in Wonderland)
    Cinematography – True Grit (The King’s Speech)
    Editing – The Social Network (Black Swan)
    Makeup – The Wolfman (Barney’s Version)
    Score – The King’s Speech (The Social Network)
    Song – Toy Story 3 (127 Hours)
    Sound Mixing – Inception (True Grit)
    Sound Editing – Inception (True Grit)
    Visual Effects – Inception (Alice in Wonderland)
    Animated Feature – Toy Story 3 (How to Train Your Dragon)
    Foreign Language – In a Better World (Biutiful)
    Documentary Feature – Inside Job (Waste Land)
    Doc Short – Strangers No More (Sun Come Up)
    Animated Short – Madagascar, carnet de voyage (The Lost Thing)
    Live Action Short – Wish 143 (God of Love)

  • 24 2-26-2011 at 6:21 am

    daveylow said...

    I have to add to the praise for In Contention this year. I look forward to the appreciation of filmmaking here, and the coverage of tech categories and Oscar Talk are features I look forward to reading.

    I had to pretty much give up on another awards site this year because of its relentless trashing of The King’s Speech and the continuous mantra of The Social Network being the masterpiece that you have to love or you or not worthy of even posting on the site.

    Thank you Kris and Guy for not going there.

  • 25 2-26-2011 at 10:53 am

    DarkLayers said...

    karol, Kris suspected Hurt Locker could win Sound Mixing, though not win both sound categories. Also, Dave Karger predicted “Avatar” but mentioned “Hurt Locker” had a shot on twitter and in “The Other Races” feature.

  • 26 2-26-2011 at 12:40 pm

    karol said...

    DarkLayers, thank you for the info. i know it. but still Avatar was seen as a frontrunner, while some people thought The Hurt Locker had the chance to win (though they were in the minority)

  • 27 2-27-2011 at 8:31 am

    DarkLayers said...

    Avatar was the frontrunner, but people seemed somewhat less confident than compared to now. For example, Avatar led The Hurt Locker 69-66 on the final Gurus of Gold, and Kris Tapley, Sasha Stone, David Poland, Eugene Hernandez, and Susan W. of USA Today predicted Hurt Locker. Two of those five are predicting it loses, with EH thinking Social Network and Poland on “King’s Speech.” The numbers are stacked in stronger favor of Inception, though. 71-51. We will find out soon, though!

  • 28 2-27-2011 at 8:33 am

    DarkLayers said...

    *Inception in it