Six days of Oscar. Day two.

Roger Ebert is a legendary film critic. The man knows everything about everything when it comes to movies. He is the King in the Kingdom of Shadows. So what fool would be silly enough to go up against him in a battle of Oscar predictions?

This fool!

Dunce

Anything can happen, but odds are that I will be wrong whenever I disagree with Roger Ebert. In my mind, someday Ebert and I will run together. We’ll rule the world of movies! An unstoppable force of all-knowing all-seeing movie power! And when we put our custom-made rings together we will transform into one gigantic… movie… genius type thing.

Perhaps I got carried away. But I digress…

So how do my picks match up to Ebert’s? Let’s find out.

Best picture:

My pick: The King’s Speech
Ebert’s pick: The King’s Speech

I feel like Ebert and I chose this movie for mostly the same reasons. I feel the underdog this year could be True Grit. Everyone loves a surprise on Oscar night. Many people will tell you that The Social Network is a done deal in this category. I have a hundred-dollar bet stating the contrary.

Actor in a leading role:

My pick: Colin Firth
Ebert’s pick: Colin Firth

I hate the term “It’s his turn” because it takes away some of the prestige that comes with a nomination and win like this one. Colin Firth will not win this award because it is his turn. He will win it because he was outstanding in The King’s Speech.

Actress in a leading role:

My pick: Natalie Portman
Ebert’s pick: Natalie Portman

Ebert and I are doing so well! Natalie Portman is having the time of her life right now. Engaged. Expecting. And about to win an Oscar. The beauty, reminiscent of the late and very great Audrey Hepburn, showed off a chiseled physique in Black Swan. I believe she will dance her way right onto the stage to accept her award.

Actor in a supporting role:

My pick: Geoffrey Rush
Ebert’s pick: Geoffrey Rush

We are so on the same page. Great minds, Ebert. Great minds. Geoffrey Rush has got this. According to the previous award shows of this season, the smart money is on Christian Bale. He is indeed a worthy contender, but Rush was superb. Absolutely superb.

Actress in a supporting role:

My pick: Melissa Leo
Ebert’s pick: Meli… wait… what? Hailee Steinfeld?

Uh-oh. Trouble in paradise. Ebert, in his infinite wisdom, has pointed out something in his predictions that I didn’t really see before. Hailee Steinfeld is the protagonist in True Grit. She is the lead – to quote Ebert – “No matter what the academy thinks.” While I agree that Hailee was a delight in True Grit, I feel that Melissa Leo will steal this one right out of Hailee’s hot little hands. Much like Kanye did with Taylor Swift. Too soon?

Directing:

My pick: Tom Hooper
Ebert’s pick: Tom Hooper

Yes! Back on track! In a year when The King’s Speech is going to own the show, Tom Hooper is the natural choice here.

Writing (original screenplay):

My pick: The King’s Speech
Ebert’s pick: The King’s Speech

What’s up! We are of one mind, Ebert. The King’s Speech is going to be the movie on everyone’s lips come Monday morning. Mark my words. Mark them!

Writing (adapted screenplay):

My pick: The Social Network
Ebert’s pick: The Social Network

The Social Network will not face a shut out. This movie – loosely based on real events – will take this Oscar. Ebert’s appears to think that this will be the only big Oscar that The Social Network will win. I disagree.

Foreign language film:

My pick: Dogtooth
Ebert’s pick: Incendies

So here’s the thing. I am voting for a nominee here that I haven’t even seen, but so is Ebert. I am picking Dogtooth merely because I have read such great things about how… different it is. Ebert has seen three of the five and has cast his vote for Incendies, a film he hasn’t even seen. He based this decision on word from friends who have seen the film. It’s anybody’s game here.

Animated feature film:

My pick: Toy Story 3
Ebert’s pick: Toy Story 3

Duh.

Documentary feature:

My pick: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Ebert’s pick: Inside Job

I love the mystery of Banksy, so this was the right choice for me. Ebert would like to see Restrepo win, but feels that Inside job will because it is about how corrupt Wall Street is.

Cinematography:

My pick: Black Swan
Ebert’s pick: True Grit

I can see where Ebert is coming from, especially since Roger Deakins, cinematographer on True Grit, has been nominated nine times and never walked away with an Oscar. I just feel that Black Swan had so much for the camera to follow and did so with the grace and poise of a ballerina, but also captured the torment that comes with the film.

Film editing:

My pick: The Social Network
Ebert’s pick: The Social Network

Booya! Ahem… sorry about that. It looks like we agree once again, Ebert. Putting together the events of The Social Network required flashbacks, two trials, parties, friends, adding, accepting, poking, rowing and copious amounts of other little details that needed to be shown. A feat for even the best editor.

Art direction:

My pick: The King’s Speech
Ebert’s pick: Alice in Wonderland

Maybe I’m taking this King’s Speech thing too far. Maybe Ebert knows what’s what. What am I saying? Of course he knows what’s what.

Costume design:

My pick: The King’s Speech
Ebert’s pick: Alice in Wonderland

Will it be the clean and proper King’s Speech wardrobe or the whimsical dressing of Alice in Wonderland?

Makeup:

My pick: The Wolfman
Ebert’s pick: Barney’s Version

It would appear as though Ebert almost voted for The Wolfman, but something swayed him. He knows something we don’t know.

Music (original score):

My pick: The Social Network
Ebert’s pick: The King’s Speech

Well now he’s just trying to throw me off. I believe that the score that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross was perfect for The Social Network. They went together like peas and carrots. Only more delicious. I love, love, love Alexandre Desplat’s score for The King’s Speech, but I think The Social Network has this one.

Music (original song):

My pick: Toy Story 3
Ebert’s pick: Toy Story 3

Randy Newman basically signed up for an Oscar when he sang “We Belong Together” for Toy Story 3.

Visual effects:

My pick: Inception
Ebert’s pick: Inception

Ebert said it best. “It rolled up an entire city.”

Sound editing:

My pick: Inception
Ebert’s pick: Inception

Like me, Ebert was surprised that The Social Network was not nominated here. Luckily, Inception came along with all of those dreams within dreams within dreams and the sound editing was, well… dreamy.

Sound mixing:

My pick: The King’s Speech
Ebert’s pick: The Social Network

I think this one could easily go either way. Well played, Roger.

Documentary short subject:

My pick: Killing in the Name
Ebert’s pick: Killing in the Name

A  Muslim man questioning terrorist motives after 27 people were killed at his wedding. Good eye, Ebert.

Short film (animated):

My pick: Day and Night
Ebert’s pick: Day and Night

This film was originally played before Toy Story. Destined to become a winner?

Short film (live action):

My pick: The Crush
Ebert’s pick: Na Wewe

Ebert and I have chosen our picks for this category similarly. He hasn’t seen any of them but has watched all of the trailers. I haven’t seen any of them but have read about them. All I’m sayin’ is that there is something to be said about a young boy who will literally fight for the woman he has fallen for. His teacher.

In the end, Ebert and I have fourteen predictions in common. Let’s see how I hold up tomorrow night against the magnificent mister Ebert.

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