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Oscar Predictions

Every year, I pray for surprise winners at the Oscars and when they occur I get pissed off because I bet against them for the pool. This year conventional wisdom leans towards a "King's Speech" sweep. It fits the Oscar profile on two counts--British people and a hero overcoming a disability. Its nearest competitor "The Social Network" has run out of steam after winning all the critics' awards. I'm going along with that. Here are my choices in all categories. Good luck in your Oscar pools.

Picture: "The King's Speech."

Actor: Colin Firth ("The King's Speech").

Actress: Natalie  Portman ("Black Swan"). Academy voters like it when you do a lot of training-- in Portman's case, ballet-- and you allow youself to be transformed in a big black bird.

Supporting Actor: Christian Bale ("The Fighter"). Drug addiction is another winning gambit.

Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo ("The Fighter"). I'm praying Leo's controversial ad campaign will not be counted against her. And what was wrong with those ads anyway? She doesn't want to be typecast as the tough old broad. So what? Didn't Mo'Nique show us last year that the performance and not the campaign is all that counts?

Director: David Fincher ("The Social Network"). Consolation prize.

Original Screenplay: David Seidler ("The King's Speech")

Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network")

Documentary Feature:  This is a tough one because there are no holocaust films this year--they always win. I saw two of the nominees ("Exit Through the Gift Shop" and "Inside Job") and watched the trailers for the other three. I'll go with "Wasteland," about an artist creating a giant portrait out of a garbage dump and who helps the people who live near it, because it looks inspirational. 

Animated Short Film: "The Lost Thing." I actually saw all the nominees in this category and this Australian gem is my favorite.

Live Action Short Film: "God of Love." 

Documentary Short: "Poster Girl"

Animated Feature: "Toy Story 3"

Art Direction, Costume Design: "Alice in Wonderland"

Film Editing: "The Social Network"

Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Special Effects: "Inception"

Cinematogrpahy, Original Score: "The King's Speech"

Song: "Coming Home" from "Country Strong" A nod to the NASCAR/CMA audience.

Make-up: "The Wolfman." I actually saw this on cable and it was hard to tell where the makeup ended and the special effects began. 

Foreign-Language Film: "Biutiful." I'm guessing more Academy voters saw it because of Javier Bardem's Best Actor nomination. 

--David Sheward

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