The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are tomorrow and the class of films from 2010 far surpasses the lineup from last year’s Oscars. Not only do all the films from the inflated 10 Best Picture nominees deserve to be nominated, but they also lack the scrutiny of controversy we saw last year. Need I remind you of The Blind Side’s unexplainable seat in the Best Picture category, and the even more baffling win of Sandra Bullock for Best Actress.
However, we return this season with an abundance of great stories of fiction and non-fiction alike with little to no controversy, or so they say. There were many snubs this year, and rightfully so, seeing that great collection of films there were this year. Without delay, here are our Banana Oscar Predictions 2011:
Best Supporting Actress:
Banana’s Choice – Melissa Leo as Alice Ward
Winner – Melissa Leo
Dark Banana – Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross
Opening the night of the ceremony would be the supporting cast awards, and Melissa Leo has a pretty firm grip on this one. Although Leo’s castmate, Amy Adams, also gave a memorable and feisty performance, Leo as Alice Ward convinced the audience that she can truly embody a powerful mother who has a posse of 8 children as an intimidating entourage. However, if the academy were swooned enough, the dark horse (or banana) would definitely be Hailee Steinfeld’s debut performance in True Grit. If this was not her first film, she would have been easily been nominated in the Best Actress category.
Best Supporting Actor:
Banana’s Choice – Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund
Winner – Christian Bale
Dark Banana – Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue
It is safe to say that the supporting cast of The Fighter drove the film into greatness. Surrounding the mediocre and quiet performance of their lead in Mark Walhberg, was a brilliant cast of actors who commanded the film from the sides. Much like his former castmate, the brilliant late Heath Ledger two years ago, Christian Bale is without a doubt set to win this Oscar. There isn’t really a dark horse in this category, but if there was an incomprehensible twist of fate, I would choose Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech as the underdog.
Best Original Screenplay:
Banana’s Choice – The King’s Speech
Winner – The King’s Speech
Dark Banana – The Kids Are All Right
A stunning script and a brilliant film. Not only did the screenplay bore a great true tale, but the back story of its writer David Seidler, shows that he is even more worthy of this award. Suffering a stutter in his speech much like King George VI, Seidler aspired to write this tale of his former king but was denied by Queen Mary to make the film until after she passed. Through patience and perseverance to be heard despite having a speech impediment, this screenplay is more than worthy.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Banana’s Choice – The Social Network
Winner – The Social Network
Dark Banana – 127 Hours
The Social Network was an extremely well crafted story written by the brilliance of Aaron Sorkin. Told through different points in time of a group of young aspiring entrepreneurs, this tale is a generation-defining narrative that would be a staple in our modern society so long as Facebook exists. I have been comparing The Social Network to The Dark Knight ever since I watched it (twice). It may be a stretch of a comparison to most, but I stick by it. In The Dark Knight, if you took away the name “Batman” and “The Joker”, what remains is still a masterpiece of modern crime drama. The same goes with The Social Network. Subtract the global Internet phenomena that redefined social interaction for decades to come, “Facebook”, what you are left with is still a dramatic tale of betrayal and friendship between brilliant young minds who aimed for greatness.
Best Animated Feature Film:
Banana’s Choice – Toy Story 3
Winner – Toy Story 3
Dark Banana – None
There is no contest here. There was a brief point in time last year, before Toy Story 3 was released that I thought How To Train Your Dragon was Dreamworks’ ticket to edging out Pixar this year. But I was gladly wrong.
Banana’s Choice – Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers
Winner – Natalie Portman
Dark Banana – Annette Bening as Nic
Natalie Portman’s work in Black Swan was her best dramatic performance to date, and it clearly shows. Enduring the notoriously demanding productions of director Daron Aronofsky, Portman’s commitment to this role is staggering. Her preparation of weight loss and ballet training a year leading up to filming is truly evident throughout the entire movie. It is hard to pinpoint whether she had any stand-ins at all. Moreover, her transformation from being the innocent pushover to the insane perfectionist was a true embodiment of a white swan evolving into the black swan. Annette Bening makes a run for her money, but Natalie has got this one down.
Banana’s Choice – James Franco as Aron Ralston
Winner – Colin Firth as Prince Albert/King George VI
Dark Banana – James Franco
A lot of critics and writers are fairly confident that Colin Firth is set to win Best Actor, but I believe James Franco’s performance has a good chance at pulling an upset towards the end of tomorrow night. As great of a performance as Colin Firth gave, James Franco did something that was unconventional. Even within the historic confines of The King’s Speech, the film was made with full intention of making the audience ‘feel good’. It was a triumphant story that connected with the majority but it has been seen before. Franco’s story, although also about perseverance, he made us believe for a large part of the film that he was not going to make it. I believe the critics are also weighing the more evident supporting cast and commercial success of The King’s Speech in comparison to 127 Hours. But as the sole lead, I think James Franco gave a louder and leading performance.
Banana’s Choice – David Fincher in The Social Network
Winner – David Fincher
Dark Banana – Tom Hooper in The King’s Speech
Sidestepping from his usual serial killer film and backwards-aging epic, David Fincher surpasses expectation and brought forth a film that would set that standard for the modern digital age. As we progress further into the 21st century, more stories revolving around the facets of the Internet will emerge and The Social Network will be there to guide emerging filmmakers in creating those narratives. This is not to say there will be an abundance of futuristic films to come, but more present-day films will arise to keep up with our ever-growing digital age. And mere years from now, when we look back at how much has changed with cinema within the last decade, I believe we will see David Fincher and The Social Network as a major catalyst. Might I add that Christopher Nolan got snubbed in this category.
Banana’s Choice – The Social Network
Winner – The Social Network
Dark Banana – The King’s Speech
Again, critics are raving for The King’s Speech to take home the big one. But to be blunt, don’t we have enough films about the British monarchy? Many say that the academy will lean towards The King’s Speech due to the majority of its members being older, but they will see pass the historic and focus on the present, which is The Social Network. The emotional period classic no longer has its power over the academy as it used to. Looking back on the Best Pictures of previous years, the academy have chosen modern day films to win with The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men, The Departed over historic pieces such as Inglorious Basterds, The Reader, There Will Be Blood, The Queen etc. And with a relevant and generation-defining film such as The Social Network, I believe the exception will not happen this year.