The 83rd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.

Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks:

Best Picture – The Social Network

The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. My personal pick Blue Valentine wasn’t nominated, of course, so my number two pick is an easy one…The Social Network. Such a shame that it fell short here to The King’s Speech in real life.

Best Director – David Fincher for The Social Network

This category featured Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and David O. Russell (The Fighter), and yet the three most interesting choices in Aronofsky, Fincher, and Russell were passed over for Hooper. I’d change that though, and go with Fincher. Had I been given the power to vote for anyone though, I’d probably have gone with Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine.

Best Actor – Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network

I didn’t intend to vote down the line for The Social Network, but so far it just has worked out that way. My personal pick Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine got snubbed, so I had to go to my second choice. The nominees here were Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech). It’s hard to argue with Firth’s win, but I think Eisenberg was slightly more deserving overall.

Best Actress – Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine

Honestly, I might prefer Natalie Portman for Black Swan, but I can’t resist the chance to give Blue Valentine an Oscar win with Michelle Williams. Williams was my favorite female performance of that year, tops among the nominated group of Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), to go along with Portman/Williams. You can basically flip a coin between Portman and Williams, but since the former actually won the Academy Award, I’m sticking with the latter as my choice.

Best Supporting Actor – Jeremy Renner for The Town

Here I’ve opted to honor Ben Affleck’s film The Town in some small way. I did it by picking Jeremy Renner’s role in the movie over his competitors Christian Bale (The Fighter), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech). Had Dustin Hoffman been nominated for Barney’s Version I would have gone with him, while Bale was a plenty worthy winner, but from this group, I have to go with Renner.

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Adams for The Fighter

Believe it or not, I wasn’t blown away by the Supporting Actress lineup this time around. The choices were Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), and Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom). Leo more or less steamrolled through the season, and while my personal pick of Rooney Mara from The Social Network wasn’t nominated, I have to switch from Leo to her co-star in The Fighter. Adams still hasn’t won, but she deserved it here.

Best Adapted Screenplay – The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

With the nominees here being 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone, it’s clearly The Social Network, Toy Story 3, and everything else. I’d have wanted The Town in the lineup in a more perfect world, but without that, I had to go with the easy pick of Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar winner. The Social Network stands tall here in a big way.

Best Original Screenplay – Inception (Christopher Nolan)

My real choice Blue Valentine was snubbed here, so I was left with the choice between the five somewhat underwhelming nominees. They are Another Year, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, and The King’s Speech. While The King’s Speech made for a mediocre winner, going with Christopher Nolan for Inception would have been more interesting, so that’s how I’m going with my personal pick.

Stay tuned, there will be another one of these in the next few weeks…so be excited!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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