Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actor in a Leading Role

The competition: Javier Bardem’s overburdened father (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges’ drunken bounty hunter, Jesse Eisenberg’s Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth’s stuttering King George (The King’s Speech), and James Franco’s trapped climber (127 Hours)

Previous winners: Jeff Bridges, Sean Penn, Daniel Day-Lewis, Forest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jamie Foxx
My winner: Edward Norton (Leaves of Grass)
Who should win: Eisenberg, Franco, or Bardem
Who will win: The race seems pretty sewn up at this point, with Firth firmly in the lead. Last year, Firth was the lone nominee from his film, and now he’s starring in the nominations leader with barely any true competition. Bridges is out because, despite the apparent popularity of his film, he won last year and his performance isn’t great enough to propel him to a repeat victory. Franco might have been a spoiler but he hasn’t upset Firth in enough places. It’s sort of like how Sean Penn beat Mickey Rourke – sometimes the classical choice triumphs. In any other situation, Franco’s hosting duties would be a plus, though even Neil Patrick Harris couldn’t win an Emmy (and still hasn’t) from HIMYM when he was hosting. Eisenberg needed to peak a long time ago, and the fact that “The “King’s Speech” has eclipsed “The Social Network” as the likely Best Picture winner diminishes his chances even more. Bardem is a wild card, but he won recently enough that he’s not overdue. Mainly, of course, Firth is just too far ahead for anyone to catch up to him.

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