Best Actor -
1.Robert Duvall – Get Low
2.Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
3.Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
4.James Franco – 127 Hours
5.Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine
Colin Firth is your favorite, although not as solidly as you might think.James Franco or Jesse Eisenberg could topple him, although younger actors generally have a tougher time.For the last two slots, Gosling’s performance is a hard-charging newcomer to the race and Duvall does some of the best work in his long and storied career.Jeff Bridges could easily replace one of these two and don’t count out Mark Wahlberg’s understated performance.
Best Actress -
1.Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
2.Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
3.Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
4.Natalie Portman – The Black Swan
5.Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine
For much of the year Annette Bening led the way, but Natalie Portman has passed her in perhaps the best performance of the year, period.Nicole Kidman had an under the radar turn in Rabbit Hole, but she won’t be ignored by the Academy.Actress usually is the inverse of Actor, with the young and the beautiful preferred, which is part of the reason why I have Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence in the last two slots.
The other is that the buzz around Another Year has died down considerably, although voters have been kind to Mike Leigh over the years, so Lesley Manville’s devastating performance is always a possibility.There’s a small chance that the Academy places Hailee Steinfeld in her proper category, even though her studio is pushing for Best Supporting Actress.I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.
Best Supporting Actor -
1.Christian Bale – The Fighter
2.John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
3.Jeremy Renner – The Town
4.Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
5.Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
This one is Christian Bale vs. Geoffrey Rush, although Bale has been sweeping through the precursors.After that Jeremy Renner will likely represent the sole nomination for another great Ben Affleck film, again.Mark Ruffalo and Winter’s Bone’s on-the-rise John Hawkes fill out my five, although Andrew Garfield could yield The Social Network yet another nomination and Sam Rockwell’s turn in the little-seen Conviction could get him in.
Best Supporting Actress -
1.Amy Adams – The Fighter
2.Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
3.Mila Kunis – The Black Swan
4.Melissa Leo – The Fighter
5.Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Hailee Steinfeld’s getting in somewhere, almost certainly here.Melissa Leo won at the Golden Globes and is the next thing to a lock.Fellow The Fighter girl Amy Adams also is a distinct possibility.After that, Helena Bonham Carter and Mila Kunis give two good performances that benefit greatly from their films’ huge buzz.Better reviewed Jacki Weaver from Animal Kingdom, Diane Wiest from Rabbit Hole, and Made in Dagenham’s Miranda Richardson suffer from less exposure but could and probably should supplant one or both of them.