There's such a great contrast in this year's Oscar contenders. You have well established actors battling young up and comers and films duking it out for Best Picture that include a king, a canyoneer, an underdog boxer and a boy wonder who created a little thing called "Facebook".
Plus, this year's broadcast will be hosted by James Franco, who is nominated for his role in "127 Hours", and Anne Hathaway. With a fare share of younger actors nominated in key categories, this year's Oscars is sure to be more energetic than in years past
Unlike the Golden Globes, I'm going to include what I believe will win. No double dipping this time. So sit back, relax and welcome to the Oscars.
The Kids' are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
While I love most of the films on this list, especially "127 Hours", it's hard to go against "The King's Speech." It's an awesome period piece that features amazing performances from Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Again, like Best Picture, I have to stick with "The King's Speech". Firth's turn as King George VI is as heartbreaking as it is amazing. Firth has always been considered a great talent, but has always been one step behind Oscar. This year the two will finally meet.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes , Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kid's are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
This is as close to a sure thing you'll ever see. While I am on board with three of the nominations, Bale is clearly heads above the rest. His closest competition would be Rush, but Bale's transformation as the drug-addled brother in "The Fighter" is stunning.
Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, The Kid's are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
All eyes are on Portman's performance in "Black Swan", don't be surprised to see Williams sneak in and steal the award. In all likelihood Portman will take home the award, but Williams gave the best performance during this award season. It's not an easy watch, but if you haven't seen "Blue Valentine" you need to check it out.
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
This might be the most wide open category. Everyone is talking about veterans Carter and Leo vying for the golden statuette, but look for youngster Steinfeld to take home Oscar. After rewatching all the films, I was most taken back by her performance -- and in her first role in a feature film. Nothing short of amazing.
Best Animated Film
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3
Since the Academy went back to 10 nominated films, this category has left little excitement. "Toy Story 3" will easily walk away with the award. Not only is it the best film of the three, it received a Best Picture nod, so if it doesn't win I call shenanigans.
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit
My pick would go with Christopher Nolan for "Inception". The Academy didn't nominate him AGAIN the year. Well, if it's not Nolan, my money's on Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech". Period pieces bios are always a challenge, but Hooper pulls it off with ease.
Music (Original Score)
John Powell, How To Train Your Dragon
Hans Zimmer, Inception
Alexandre Desplat, The King's Speech
A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
What happened at the Golden Globes will not (it better not) happen again. I own the "127 Hours" soundtrack and love it, but Zimmer's score for "Inception" is the crème de la crème. I think the love affair with "The Social Network" is beginning to wane, so it should be smooth sailing for Zimmer.
Music (Original Song)
Coming Home, Country Strong
I See the Light, Tangled
If I Rise, 127 Hours
We Belong Together, Toy Story 3
The only two song that should even be considered in this category are "I See the Light" from "Tangled" and "If I Rise" from "127 Hours", but I'm going with "Light". I thought it was a travesity the film was excluded from the Best Animated Film category and this song is amazing. It's a very cute film and what can I say -- I'm a sucker for a princess.
Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Michael Arndt (screenplay), story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, Winter's Bone
I will be pulling for "127 Hours", but since he's essentially swept everything else, I fully expect Sorkin to walk away with the award. "The Social Network" is a good film, but I think others are more deserving.
Mike Leigh, Another Year
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (Screenplay), story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnon, The Fighter
Christopher Nolan, Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids are All Right
David Seidler, The King's Speech
This is another instance of going with head over heart. While I love "Inception" and would love to see Nolan walk away with the award, I think the Academy will go with "The King's Speech". I could actually see the award going to any film nominated in this category. It's filled with winners.
There it is. My official Oscar predictions are slated, on the record and now we can see how far I'm off. Good luck to all those nominated. And I'd keep an eye on Franco during the telecast. The actor is just unpredictable enough to ensure it will be a good time.