By: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish
For this week’s very special Oscars issue, we decided to host a mock vote among our staffers, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, and Dan Siering, and editors, Arts & Review editors Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, and Charlotte Parish, and Editor-in-Chief Mike Caprio. The results were predictably mixed, although The Heights board as a whole seemed to vote collectively on several key categories. Our staff picked more off-beat choices, the odd ducks that could sneak up and quietly collect a trophy right from under the frontrunner’s noses. While this year’s race seems all but locked up, and has been that way since January’s slew of award shows, there is always the off chance of a dark horse win. Our predictions should help guide you to a winning ballot when it comes time for the big show on Sunday night. Impress your friends with the savvy knowledge we impart to you with the following predictions.
The King’s Speech: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
The Social Network: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Dan Siering
Black Swan: Charlotte Parish
Toy Story 3: Katie Lee
The King’s Speech: The Heights
The odds are highly in favor of The King’s Speech for this year’s Best Picture race, but let’s be honest: Was it really all that good? Two of the three Arts editors agree that it was a heavy – handed and underwhelming period piece that shouldn’t have made the cut, but in a poll of The Heights board, it was unanimously decided that it will and should win on Sunday. However, one of our staffers firmly believes that Toy Story 3 should take home the prize, an argument that could have been a reality if the Oscar cutoff was June. Meanwhile, the overwhelming consensus, among critics and The Heights Arts section, is that The Social Network should take the prize.
David Fincher: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
David O. Russell: Michael Caprio
Darren Aronofsky: Darren Ranck, Charlotte Parish, The Heights
David Fincher: Brennan Carley, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering
With a strong resume, including Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the panel unanimously predicted David Fincher to win his first Oscar for The Social Network. It would be a difficult choice to argue with since Fincher imposed a thriller-style genre on a rather straightforward story. The editor-in-chief’s prediction of David O. Russell comes out of left field, but perhaps he senses a possible sweep for the feel-good The Fighter. Darren Aronofsky’s dazzling and thrilling direction for Black Swan is certainly popular among The Heights staff and two editors, but it will probably be an also-ran alongside the previously rewarded Coens. Fincher needs to watch out, though, for the young Thomas Hooper, whose The King’s Speech looks set as the evening’s biggest victor.
Colin Firth: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
Javier Bardem: Michael Caprio
Colin Firth: Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
James Franco: Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Joe Allen
Jesse Eisenberg: Darren Ranck
Although it is undisputed that the Academy will choose Colin Firth’s neurotically pitiable King George VI, it’s a tragedy that the competition will not be closer. All five nominees gave incredible performances, from royalty to a cancer patient to a western marshal. No other actor could take on Eisenberg’s quirky Mark Zuckerberg nor could anyone else capture the sheer mania that takes over Franco’s Aron Ralston before he cuts off his own arm – all of these actors are simply irreplaceable. And although Bridges was the only nominee neglected by The Heights‘ desired winner picks, he still deserves the Oscar nod for the dry sarcasm that complimented breakout actress Hailee Steinfeld and pushed her performance to the Academy’s notice.
Natalie Portman: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
Jennifer Lawrence: Brennan Carley
Nicole Kidman: Michael Caprio
Natalie Portman: Charlotte Parish, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
For her demented descent in Black Swan, Miss Natalie Portman unanimously dominated the Best Actress category. The most impressive aspect of Portman is her ability to play both the innocent Nina Sayers and her seductive alter ego, fusing the two sides in the film’s final scene. However, one editor points out we would be loathed to forget the equally poignant performance of Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. Stretching outside her comfort zone, Lawrence embodies versatility in a film that is arguably more relatable with broader subjects like drugs, murder, and family.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
Christian Bale: Darren Ranck, Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering, The Heights
John Hawkes: Brennan Carley
After nearly two decades of perfecting the art of method acting, Christian Bale finally receives his first Oscar nomination for his fearless work as cocaine-addicted Dickie Eklund in The Fighter. Bale can take a breather as the Oscar seems to be easily in reach, according to a unanimous panel. Popular Geoffrey Rush is the only other contender as King George’s tutor in The King’s Speech. Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner in The Kids Are All Right and The Town, respectively, earned their nominations, but the nomination will have to be enough. One editor’s choice for the win, Winter’s Bone John Hawkes, certainly chilled in his performance as a fascinatingly deranged uncle, but winning looks like an uphill battle.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams: Michael Caprio
Helena Bonham Carter: The Heights
Melissa Leo: Joe Allen, Katie Lee, Dan Siering
Hailee Steinfeld: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Charlotte Parish
Amy Adams: Darren Ranck, Brennan Carley, Joe Allen
Helena Bonham Carter: The Heights
Melissa Leo: Katie Lee
Hailee Steinfeld: Charlotte Parish, Michael Caprio, Dan Siering
Surprisingly, Helena Bonham Carter swept both the “should” and “will” categories in our poll. It’s an interesting pick, seeing as the only names being thrown around as serious contenders have been Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit and both Melissa Leo and Amy Adams of The Fighter. However, the category could get interesting what with Leo’s tacky self-promotion techniques from the last couple of weeks. The Arts staff seems firmly split on who should take home the prize between Steinfeld and Adams. One name has been completely ignored and could sneak in as a deserving dark horse: Jackie Weaver of the Australian drama Animal Kingdom. A win for her would be truly sensational.