The Envelope, Please

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

  • 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


    Original Screenplay

    Another Year

    The Fighter


    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


    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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