83rd Academy Awards

A Fearless Forecast
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

TOP HONORS
Like last year, the number of nominees for Best Picture this year has been raised from the usual five to ten slots.
The King's Speech, a movie on the life and times of King George VI, has steadily gained momentum after clinching the Best Ensemble award at the Screen Actors Guild ceremonies. It will win as Motion Picture of the Year in the same fashion as Crash – slowly but surely!
The dark horse in this category is another biopic - that of Facebook founder David Zuckerberg – Social Network. The film's early victory with the independent critics circuit may have gained steam in the pollster's minds.
Toy Story 3 will receive the nod as Best Animated Feature; being the only entry with the Best Picture citation. It will win in the same way as The Lord of the Ring, whose third installment, The Return of the King, finally cinched the award.
Best Foreign Language Film will go to Mexico's entry, Biutiful, whose lead star, Academy Award Supporting Actor winner Javier Bardeem (No Country for Old Men) is in the race for Best Actor honors. Though Denmark's entry In A Better World stands a pretty chance of winning. The Best Documentary Feature, on the other hand, goes to Inside Job.

THESPIC
Looks like the recipients in this year's acting awards are consistent.
Colin Firth as King George VI, the stuttering royal who finally finds his voice in The King's Speech, is a shoo-in for Best Actor. And so is Natalie Portman as Best Actress, whose character as the perfectionist Nina Sayers, delivers a whaloop in the intense character drama Black Swan.
Christian Bale, who wowed critics early on as the pugilist-turned-junkie Dicky Eklund in The Fighter hits the nail in the head with a very riveting and credible performance. Ditto Melissa Leo, who plays her consenting, overprotective mother Alice Ward in the same movie.

TEXTUAL
David Sorkin's brilliant narrative on the legal drama surrounding Facebook founder David Zuckerberg's rise to fame as the world's youngest billionaire for Social Network wins the Best Adapted Screenplay award while Christopher Nolan's creation of a parallel universe in Inception wins the Best Original Screenplay award.

TECHNICAL
Given the blessing at the Directors Guild of America rites, filmmaker Tom Hooper is destined to receive the Best Director award for his work in The King's Speech. But, should this year be like the six other times wherein the “anointed” director is passed over, then dark horse nominee David Fincher may take home the bacon for helming the biopic Social Network.
Too bad Burlesque was voted out from the Best Original Song list. It was an early favorite and Cher's interpretation of the ballad “You Haven't Seen The Last of Me” was poignant; to say the least. My bet goes to Alan Menken's composition “I See The Light” from the Rapunzel animation Tangled, with Glenn Slater's beautifully-written lyrics. Best Musical Score goes to composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Social Network.
For both Costume Design and Art Direction, my hats go to Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. And for Best Make-up, my bet goes to Rick Baker and Dave Elsey's fab werewolf prosthetics in The Wolfman; reminds me of Baker's work in Michael Jackson's classic horror dance tune MTV “Thriller.”
For lensing, my eyes go for the sensational camerawork of Matthew Libatique in Black Swan. As to film splicing and ingenious frame cutting, Jon Harris wins the Film Editing category for the adventure biopic 127 Hours.
For visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing, my choices zero in on the mind-blowing make-believe world of Inception.

Cable subscribers can check their catalog listings on the airing of the 83rd Academy Awards ceremonies on February 27, Sunday (in the US). Televiewers in general can check the boob-tube and/or newspaper advisories on the live local broadcast on Feb. 28, Monday.
Thus, the guessing game begins anew. As they say in Hollywood, “And the Oscar goes to…”

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