The following are my Oscar picks for this Sunday, Feb. 27.

Best Picture

While all of the 10 Best Picture nominees are terrific, only two of them stand any chance at winning Oscar's top prize. For the longest time it appeared that David Fincher's The Social Network was bound to be declared Best Picture of the year, dominating virtually every critic award in addition to the Golden Globes. Matters took an unexpected turn on Oscar nomination morning, however, when The King's Speech led the pack with a total of 12 nominations. Since then the film has won the DGA, PGA and SAG. With the most nominations and three major predecessor award wins, it'd be a safe bet to say that The King's Speech will be crowned Best Picture on Oscar Sunday. There's still a possibility that The Social Network could pull an upset here, which I'm routing for. Don't get me wrong. I love The King's Speech. But The Social Network is by far the more relevant, the more profound, the more timeless, and more entertaining of the two pictures. In recent years the Academy has been steering away from conventional Oscar winners and selecting bolder choices like The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, Crash and The Departed. This year I hope the Academy continues this streak by awarding The Social Network over The King's Speech.

With that said, is The Social Network my personal selection to win Best Picture? As much as I love that film, my favorite movie of the year was Pixar's Toy Story 3. No film released in 2010 touched or enthralled me as much as this wonderful animated feature. If Toy Story 3 were to win Best Picture then heads may literally explode in the Kodak Theater. The odds of that happening though are about as likely as Rob Schneider receiving a lifetime achievement Oscar.

What Will Win: The King's Speech, with the possibility of an upset by The Social Network

My Preference: Toy Story 3

Best Actor

If there's one surefire bet this year, it's that Colin Firth will win Best Actor for The King's Speech. Firth completely deserves to be engraved as an Oscar-winner for his exceptional portrayal of George VI, the stammerer who would be king.

Who Will Win: Colin Firth for The King's Speech

My Preference: Colin Firth for The King's Speech

Best Actress

It will be a criminal injustice if Natalie Portman doesn't win for her fearless and haunting performance in Black Swan. Some Oscar analysts have been predicting Annette Benning to pull an upset for her splendid work in The Kid's Are All Right. Benning is one of our finest actresses and is overdue for an Oscar. As far as I'm concerned though, Portman delivered nothing short of the best female performance of the 21st century. If she doesn't win, I will throw a wine cooler at my television set.

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman for Black Swan

My Preference: Natalie Portman for Black Swan


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale should finally diminish his underrated status by winning for his risky and energized performance in The Fighter. Geoffrey Rush winning his second Oscar for The King's Speech isn't out of the question though. If Rush were to win then you can pretty much count on a King's Speech sweep.

Who Will Win: Christian Bale for The Fighter

My Preference: Christian Bale for The Fighter


Best Supporting Actress

Mellissa Leo is currently the frontrunner here, winning numerous awards for her role in The Fighter and giving memorable acceptance speeches. But I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Hailee Steinfeld for her breakthrough performance in True Grit. While this may just be wishful thinking on my behalf, Steinfeld actually has a lot going for her. Among the five nominated supporting actresses, Steinfeld is the only one that truly had the leading role. Younger actresses have tended to pull upsets in this category in the past, such Anna Paquin for The Piano and Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon. Plus, True Grit was one of the most beloved films of 2010 that the Academy probably wants to recognize in at least one major category. I realize that I'll probably be eating my hat on Oscar Sunday for this prediction. If Steinfeld does end up winning though, you shall all bow down to me as the movie guru I am.

Who Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit

My Preference: Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit


Best Director

Seeing how The King's Speech is pretty much destined to win Best Picture, Tom Hooper has a strong chance at winning Best Director. Nevertheless, I'm predicting a split between the two categories this year with Best Director going to David Fincher for The Social Network. Fincher, who was previously nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is overdue for this award. In The Social Network he delivered what is probably his most straightforward film to date and, in many ways, his best.

Who Will Win: David Fincher for The Social Network

My Preference: David Fincher for The Social Network


Best Adapted Screenplay

Even if The Social Network doesn't win Best Picture or Best Director, the Academy will definitely grant Best Adapted Screenplay to Aaron Sorkin for writing the freshest script of the year.

What Will Win: The Social Network

My Preference: The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay

David Seidler's witty screenplay for The King's Speech seems poised to win here. For my money though, the most original and well-crafted screenplay in this category was Christopher Nolan's Inception. Nolan pulling an upset would be overly justified and make up for his second Best Director snub.

What Will Win: The King's Speech

My Preference: Inception


Best Animated Feature

What Will Win: Toy Story 3

My Preference: Toy Story 3


Best Original Song

What Will Win: "If I Rise" from 127 Hours. Although I wouldn't be surprised if "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 were to win.

My Preference: "I See the Light" from Tangled


Best Original Score

What Will Win: The Social Network

My Preference: Inception


Best Cinematography

What Will Win: True Grit

My Preference: Inception


Best Art Direction

What Will Win: Alice in Wonderland, with a strong possibility of The King's Speech or Inception winning

My Preference: Alice in Wonderland


Best Costume Design

What Will Win: The King's Speech

My Preference: Alice in Wonderland


Best Film Editing

What Will Win: The Social Network

My Preference: The Social Network


Best Visual Effects

What Will Win: Inception

My Preference: Inception


Best Makeup

What Will Win: The Wolfman

My Preference: The Wolfman, I guess. Anyone want to tell me why Alice in Wonderland wasn't nominated here, though?


Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing

What Will Win: Inception for both categories

My Preference: Inception for both categories


Best Animated Short

What Will Win: The Gruffalo


Best Live-Action Short

What Will Win: Wish 143


Best Documentary Short

What Will Win: Poster Girl

Best Documentary Feature

What Will Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best Foreign Language Film

What Will Win: Incendies

Nick Spake is a college student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for five years, reviewing movies on his website, Reach him at


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