The Envelope, Please

TIME's critics pick who will win (and who should win) this year's Academy Awards

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The Directors Guild implausibly honored Hooper's garish work; I'm counting on the Academy to correct that injustice and reward Fincher's much richer, cagier achievement.

I'm betting on crotchety Academy voters thinking, "Melissa, your Variety ad was pushy. I'm voting for that nice True Grit girl."

The visionary Fincher must escape the DGA curse. We command it.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, The Fighter John Hawkes, Winter's Bone

Jeremy Renner, The Town Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

In a strong year for crazy mamas, this Aussie wins, claws down.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan David O. Russell, The Fighter Tom Hooper, The King's Speech

David Fincher, The Social Network Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, The Fighter Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech

Melissa Leo, The Fighter Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Every story element of this film, every frame, is designed to suit the prejudices of the Academy; if it can't win Best Picture, then what's an Oscar for?

A cartoon rendering of a mind-bent crack addict, but Bale gives it a wild snap.

I'll take the scarily authentic Hawkes over Bale (too self-conscious). I'd have sworn Hawkes was dug out of some dark hollow. Or prison.

Funny, sexy, sensitive, insightful and not a word out of place--a great humanist story.

Best Picture

Black Swan The Fighter The Kids Are All Right

The King's Speech 127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter's Bone

Inception

Original Screenplay

Another Year

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King's Speech

Maybe I'm being contrarian, but the riveting Franco did something I would have said was impossible: he made 127 Hours' inevitable self-amputation emotionally thrilling.

As cool and complex as The King's Speech is warm and obvious, Inception gets points for seducing a mass audience into following a multilayered, mysterioso epic.

I can't just lie down and forget the most exciting movie of the year.

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Colin Firth, The King's Speech

James Franco, 127 Hours

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter's Bone

Mary

Will Win

Should Win

Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

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