Oscar crowns the Swan Queen!

Let me start by saying that I did terribly with my predictions this year! Only 14/21... ouch! I think that next year I will just clip lists of the categories to the wall and throw darts at the nominees. I’ll probably have better luck with that! Overall, though, I think that James Franco and Anne Hathaway did a good job as hosts of last night's abbreviated Oscars. (As part of the younger demographic, I’ll say that they fulfilled their duties more than adequately.) Their opening spoof of Inception was a great kick-off to the show, and it was a lot of fun to watch them play off one another during the evening. I also liked Anne Hathaway’s self-mockery when she saluted all the viewers making a drinking game out of her gaffs... but really, after Melissa Leo’s f-bomb, any miscues were negligible.

As for the winners, I liked how there were a few surprises thrown in with the expected victors, although I am disappointed though that neither Incendies, nor Barney’s Version took home the gold… Not wanting to dwell on the negative, I’ll give a big resounding “YAY!” to Natalie Portman’s Best Actress win! Portman was very gracious in her speech, as was Colin Firth, and I liked how both winners acknowledged the directors whose films helped define their careers, which is something that too few winners do. While I’m disappointed that Black Swan didn’t pull an upset, I’m glad that The King’s Speech stood strong and took top prize. When The King’s Speech lost of the awards early in the evening, and The Social Network nabbed three, I thought that things were going to go the other way; however, once David Fincher lost Best Director, I think we all knew that it was a done deal. (I’d hate to have seen Twitter when that happened…) This Oscar season might be over, but with The King’s Speech and Black Swan taking the top awards, I’ll be extra careful with my picks at TIFF this year in hopes of getting a sneak peak at the frontrunners for Oscars 2011.

Winners and comments after the cut:

Best Picture:
The King's Speech – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

The King's Speech, Tom Hooper

Actor in a Leading Role:
Colin Firth in The King's Speech

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christian Bale in The Fighter
(Geoffrey Rush was robbed!)

Actress in a Leading Role:
Natalie Portman in Black Swan!

Actress in a Supporting Role:
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
(Disappointed that Jacki Weaver didn't win, but I'm glad to see that Leo's great work was recognized and that the Academy voted based on performance and not politics.)

Adapted Screenplay: 
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin

Original Screenplay:
The King's Speech – David Seidler
(Great speech!)

Animated Feature Film:
Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich

Art Direction:
Alice in Wonderland (aka Tim Burton Run Amok): Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara

Inception – Wally Pfister
(Well deserved! Although this means nine losses for True Grit's Roger Deakins... give the man a break!)

Costume Design:
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
(Thanks to the highlight reel, Cate Blanchett didn't have the worst outfit during the broadcast!)

Documentary Feature:
Inside Job – Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
(Well done!)
Documentary Short Subject:
“Strangers No More” – Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

Film Editing:
The Social Network – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
(Black Swan = robbed)

Foreign Language Film:
In a Better World – Denmark (Susanne Bier)
(Haven't seen it, but really hoped Incendies  would win. Does this mean that next year's thesis is potentially less marketable?)

The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
(Ditto for Barney's Version - at least its bound to split boatload of Genies with Incendies!)

Original Score:
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
(A good and unconventional choice from the Academy)

Original Song
"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 – Randy Newman
(Really? Randy Newman’s had 20 nominations and all of his songs sound exactly the same.)

Short Film (Animated):
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann

Short Film (Live Action):
“God of Love” Luke Matheny

Sound Editing:
Inception –Richard King

Sound Mixing:
Inception – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick

Visual Effects:
Inception – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb

Best Dressed:
Jennifer Hudson
Runner up: Jennifer Lawrence