The Social Network, a story about the prickly author of Facebook, and The King’s Speech, a saga of Queen Elizabeth II’s stammering father, are to be announced shortly, among likely nominees for Hollywood’s top prize, at Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The 83rd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 27, 2011, telecast live from the historic Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on ABC at 8PM ET.
The two films are the best-picture front-runners. With a best-drama win at the Golden Globes and top honors from key critics groups, “The Social Network” seems to have the edge. But “The King’s Speech” pulled off an upset over the weekend for the main prize at the Producers Guild of America Awards, whose winner often goes on to claim best picture at the Oscars.
Other forecasts include drama The Fighter, the sci-fi mystery Inception, the psychosexual thriller Black Swan, the adventure memoir 127 Hours, the Western True Grit, the lesbian-family comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right, the crime dramas The Town and Winter’s Bone and the animated smash Toy Story 3, the top-grossing movie released in 2010.
Absolute favorites appeared in most top categories, including Globe dramatic-actor winner Colin Firth as George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Among his likely nominees is Jesse Eisenberg as sarcastic Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network.”
There are also two women in a race for best actress – Annette Bening as a lesbian mom in “The Kids Are All Right” and Natalie Portman as a ballerina becoming unnerved in “Black Swan.” Both won Globes: Bening for best actress in a musical or comedy, and Portman for dramatic actress.
Christian Bale is the favorite for supporting actor as Dicky Eklund, an energetic boxer fallen on hard times in “The Fighter.” Melissa Leo and Amy Adams both are strong supporting-actress contenders for that film as well.
Launched last year for the first time in Oscar history, the new tradition of nominating 10 major Hollywood films for best picture will again be up “for your consideration” in 2011 in a clever move by the Academy to further promotion the Oscars with a wider audience.
While duel hosting duties were acquired by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin last year, this year’s hosts are even more of surprises deuce in actress Anne Hathaway and actor James Franco to help attract a younger bunch to the telecast by putting a fresher face on the ‘over-the-hill’ Oscar establishment.