Contender Countdown: Colin Firth may be Oscar's only sure thing
One of the great things about participating in Movie City News's Gurus of Gold and The Envelope's Buzzmeter is it's usually a good indicator of who in the Oscar game has seen certain films and who hasn't. The latest installment of the Gurus is out and for the first time it is very telling in that regard. This week we'll review my updated picks for best picture include the main acting categories. When you compare them to the Guru's picks it's easy to tell who has done their homework. First up, however, this pundit's humble picks and then some thoughts on the votes of the 14 other Gurus.
1. "The King's Speech"
2. "The Social Network"
4. "Toy Story 3"
5. "Another Year"
6. "127 Hours"
7. "The Kids Are All Right"
8. "True Grit"
9. "Rabbit Hole"
10. "Black Swan"
Outside looking in:
12. "The Fighter"
14. "Winter's Bone"
15. "The Town"
Guru takeaway: My top three match the overall consensus, the only place I diverge is in placing "Rabbit Hole" in the 10 instead of "Hereafter" which is currently the gurus no. 9. I think some pundits are misjudging the appeal of the John Cameron Mitchell film, especially to the actor's branch. We'll see.
1. Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
2. James Franco, "127 Hours"
3. Aaron Eckhart, "Rabbit Hole"
4. Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
5. Robert DuVall, "Get Low"
Guru takeaway: Overall, Firth has 13 of 15 Guru votes cementing his status as the closest thing to a lock at this stage of the game. Going with my gut, I have Aaron Eckhart of "Rabbit" as a surprise entry and Eisenberg out. The "Social Network" star is a possible nominee, but I'm guessing Andrew Garfield is the film's acting rep in supporting. Interestingly enough, only Anthony Breznican of USA Today has Michael Douglas making the cut. Could the other 14 of us be completely wrong regarding the most sympathetic nominee in some time? Are we that cold hearted?
1. Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
2. Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
3. Tilda Swinton, "I Am Love"
4. Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
5. Leslie Manville, "Another Year"
Guru takeaway: Again, I differ with the pool by including Swinton who is expected to campaign for "Love." The question is whether Jennifer Lawrence's "Winter's Bone" turn is enough to get her in the mix. Pete Hammond of Deadline, Kris Tapley of In Contention and EW's Dave Karger agree with me that right now it's too competitive for her to crack the five. If she scores a SAG nod? Watch out.
Best Supporting Actor
1. Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
2. Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
3. Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
4. Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
5. Jim Broadbent, "Another Year'
Guru takeaway: I only differ with Gurus by including Broadbent in the five (granted, right at no. 5). "Year" feels like a movie that's going to play very well on screener and while he took this category for "Iris" in 2002, it's Broadbent's only nod, something of a crime considering his body of work. In fact, beyond an across the board inclusion of Rush, slots 3-5 are pretty much up in the air according to the Gurus. And, even I would agree that Sam Rockwell ("Conviction"), Matt Damon ("True Grit"), Josh Brolin ("True Grit") and Jeremy Renner "(The Town") have a shot to crack this very competitive category.
Best Supporting Actress
1. Diane Wiest, "Rabbit Hole"
2. Miranda Richardson, "Made in Dangenham"
3. Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
4. Marion Cotillard, "Inception"
5. Hailee Stainfeld, "True Grit"
Guru takeaway: Only EW's Sean Smith agrees with me that Cotillard is in for "Inception." I think a number of Gurus are making a major mistake discounting her. Many are placing their bets on newcomer Hailee Stainfeld of "True Grit" to crack the five. I'll wait until I see the film, but a youngster has certainly made waves in this category before (Anna Paquin immediately comes to mind). Carter is in the lead according to the Gurus, but that's really a misnomer. Only three of the 15 pundits picked her to win. Indiewire's Anne Thompson and I, however, are going with two-time winner Wiest for her incredible work in "Rabbit."
The Gurus won't be polling again until November and it will be curious to see what if anything has changed considering many of the contenders don't open until late November or December. Awards Campaign, on the other hand, will continue to throw out a contender countdown at least one more time before the end of Oct. If you missed our breakdown of the best picture race, catch up here. A best supporting actress rundown will be online by Wednesday night
What do you think of the races so far? Any big surprises? Share your thoughts below.