Oscar Update: First Best Picture and Acting Predictions of 2010

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Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Oliver Maltman in Another Year
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Last year I started offering up actual ranked predictions for last year’s Oscars on July 20th. This year it’s taken me a little longer since damn near every movie I’m working with has yet to be seen, or even talked about on any kind of buzz-worthy level. If I hadn’t attended Cannes I would have only seen four of the 23 films on my list of Best Picture contenders and even with Cannes I’ve only seen seven of them. That isn’t saying much. I guess what I’m trying to get at here is to tell you to take these predictions with a grain of salt because I’m working on only the smallest amounts of information for each.

With that said, today I offer the first ranked predictions for the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and best Animated Feature. I have also added a few thoughts on Best Director as I haven’t yet sorted out my list, which currently includes 40 total names… I think you can understand my dilemma, though you could also just look at my ten Best Picture selections and go from there.

I have also started putting together a list for the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories and will slowly begin tackling the below-the-line categories as the weeks wear on.

Other things to consider when looking at these predictions is to know some of these films don’t even have distribution or release dates yet. Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life may not be released until 2011, Biutiful is still yet to get a distributor and the same goes for Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock and Robert Redford’s The Conspirator. However, I’ve gone forward with these predictions under the assumption they will find distribution and/or release dates by the end of the year. This is obviously the folly of predicting these things so early, but it’s also part of the fun.

Featured below you will find only the top contenders for each category predicted. I have included a link to “The Contenders” section of the site for each category where you will find my full list of current contenders as well as several other useful bits concerning the race for Oscar.

Hope you enjoy and please leave your thoughts in the comments below. It may be early, but it’s never too early to speculate…

Best Picture
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Another Year
  2. Love and Other Drugs
  3. The Social Network
  4. True Grit
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Inception
  7. The Tree of Life
  8. Fair Game
  9. The Fighter
  10. Secretariat
Best Actor
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Robert Duvall (Get Low)
  2. Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
  3. James Franco (127 Hours)
  4. Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
  5. Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Best Actress
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)
  2. Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
  3. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
  4. Robin Wright Penn (The Conspirator)
  5. Diane Lane (Secretariat)
Best Supporting Actor
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Christian Bale (The Fighter)
  2. Sam Rockwell (Conviction)
  3. Bill Murray (Get Low)
  4. Sean Penn (The Tree of Life)
  5. Josh Brolin (True Grit)
Best Supporting Actress
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Lesley Manville (Another Year)
  2. Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
  3. Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock)
  4. Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go)
  5. Helen Mirren (Brighton Rock)
Best Animated Feature
For the complete chart of contenders click here
  1. Toy Story 3
  2. How to Train Your Dragon
  3. The Illusionist

Finally, what to do about Best Director?

Having already seen their films, Mike Leigh (Another Year), Christopher Nolan (Inception) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) are at the top of my list… Especially Leigh and Nolan. However, with names such as Clint Eastwood (Hereafter), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David Fincher (The Social Network), Danny Boyle (127 Hours), Sofia Coppola (Somewhere), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Doug Liman (Fair Game), Edward Zwick (Love and Other Drugs), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), Julian Schnabel (Miral), Peter Weir (The Way Back), Robert Redford (The Conspirator) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) out there how can I possibly come up with a top five?

I would suspect by the time Venice and Toronto have come to a close this is one category that will truly begin sorting itself out, and, of course, the rest of the categories will also follow suit.

For all my latest Oscar race coverage be sure to bookmark “The Contenders” section of the site and weigh in with your thoughts and early predictions below.