Final Oscar Predictions Roundup: Experts vs. Users

  • Comments: ↓ 5 user comments
  • Publish Date: February 24, 2011

In the home stretch

Image

If you are reading this article, then you already know that this Sunday night will bring the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, televised live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on ABC at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT (with a red carpet pre-show beginning at 7 ET / 4 PT). In a new twist, fans paying $4.99 for an "All Access" package can also watch up to 28 separate live feeds (including exclusive backstage footage) at the official Academy Awards website, Oscars.com.

This year's hosts are actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and presenters will include Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Downey Jr., Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Halle Berry, and Hugh Jackman. Contrary to popular belief, the ceremony is not already running behind schedule.

But why wait until Sunday to find out who the winners will be when we can speculate about them today?

Expert and user predictions

Below, we have tallied the latest Oscar predictions in every category from over three dozen industry experts. (A complete list of the 38 experts surveyed appears at the bottom of this page.) These predictions appear next to those of over 2,800 Metacritic users who voted in our annual Oscar poll over the past few weeks. Monday morning, we'll reveal which experts and users had the most correct picks.

If the expert predictions below hold up, The King's Speech -- this year's most nominated film, with 12 -- will collect four or five Oscars, while The Social Network will account for another four wins.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersBest picture and director

Best Picture
Image The King's Speech Experts 82%
Users 39%
  The Social Network Experts 16%
Users 43%
  Inception Experts 3%
Users 8%
  Black Swan 0%
Users 4%
  6 others 0%
Users 7%
Best Director
Image David Fincher
The Social Network
Experts 66%
Users 64%
  Tom Hooper
The King's Speech
Experts 34%
Users 16%
  Darren Aronofsky
Black Swan
0%
Users 13%
  2 others 0%
Users 7%

For the past few months, nearly every expert (and, for that matter, non-expert) has been in agreement that the two biggest categories are down to the same two films: The Social Network and The King's Speech. While the latter has been steadily gaining ground in the best picture race to the point where it has become the overwhelming favorite (though Metacritic users feel otherwise), Social Network helmer David Fincher is holding firm as the likely best director winner. A best picture / best director split is an uncommon occurrence; if it indeed happens this weekend, it'll be the first time since 2006 (when Crash was the best picture and Ang Lee won for directing Brokeback Mountain) and just the fifth time in 20 years.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersActing

Lead Actor
Image Colin Firth
The King's Speech
Experts 100%
Users 79%
  James Franco
127 Hours
0%
Users 8%
  Jesse Eisenberg
The Social Network
0%
Users 8%
  2 others 0%
Users 6%
Lead Actress
Image Natalie Portman
Black Swan
Experts 84%
Users 90%
  Annette Bening
The Kids Are All Right
Experts 16%
Users 4%
  3 others 0%
Users 6%
Supporting Actor
Image Christian Bale
The Fighter
Experts 84%
Users 76%
  Geoffrey Rush
The King's Speech
Experts 16%
Users 17%
  3 others 0%
Users 7%
Supporting Actress
Image Melissa Leo
The Fighter
Experts 68%
Users 45%
  Hailee Steinfeld
True Grit
Experts 18%
Users 26%
  Helena Bonham Carter
The King's Speech
Experts 8%
Users 16%
  Jacki Weaver
Animal Kingdom
Experts 5%
Users 3%
  Amy Adams
The Fighter
0%
Users 10%

There doesn't appear to be a lot of suspense in the acting categories this year, with Colin Firth and Natalie Portman all but certain to take home trophies Sunday night for their lead performances. The supporting actress category is the only one of the four seemingly still in play; among the experts predicting an upset victory by young True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld are Roger Ebert and Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersWriting

Original Screenplay
Image David Seidler
The King's Speech
Experts 95%
Users 40%
  Christopher Nolan
Inception
Experts 3%
Users 50%
  Lisa Cholodenko / Stuart Blumberg
The Kids Are All Right
Experts 3%
Users 5%
  2 others 0%
Users 4%
Adapted Screenplay
Image Aaron Sorkin
The Social Network
Experts 100%
Users 78%
  Joel Coen / Ethan Coen
True Grit
0%
Users 9%
  3 others 0%
Users 13%

You'll hear gasps from the audience if Sorkin doesn't win for his Social Network screenplay. Meanwhile, though Metacritic users clearly love Inception and are holding out hope that Christopher Nolan (who failed to secure a director nomination) will get the Oscar, the experts consider Seidler a lock for his King's Speech script.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersAnimation

Animated Feature
Image Toy Story 3 Experts 100%
Users 92%
  How to Train Your Dragon 0%
Users 5%
  The Illusionist 0%
Users 2%
Animated Short
Image Day & Night Experts 47%
Users 49%
  The Gruffalo Experts 41%
Users 15%
  Madagascar, a Journey Diary Experts 9%
Users 13%
  Let's Pollute Experts 3%
Users 12%
  The Lost Thing 0%
Users 10%

Pixar could be taking home two Oscars this weekend, one for sure-thing Toy Story 3 and a second for the animated short that screened in front of it, Day & Night. But the short film categories are always tough to predict, and The Gruffalo, a BBC adaptation of Julia Donaldson's best-selling children's book, also has many supporters among the experts.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersDocumentaries

Documentary Feature
Image Inside Job Experts 70%
Users 28%
  Exit Through the Gift Shop Experts 16%
Users 45%
  Restrepo Experts 8%
Users 15%
  Waste Land Experts 5%
Users 8%
  Gasland 0%
Users 5%
Documentary Short Subject
Image Strangers No More Experts 38%
Users 23%
  Poster Girl Experts 23%
Users 21%
  Killing in the Name Experts 19%
Users 27%
  The Warriors of Qiugang Experts 19%
Users 15%
  Sun Come Up 0%
Users 15%

Though an Exit Through the Gift Shop win would be welcomed for a chance to see artist/director Banksy accept the trophy while wearing a monkey costume (contrary to earlier published reports, he apparently will not be banned from the ceremony), most experts list Charles Ferguson's stellar account of the ongoing financial crisis, Inside Job, as the likely winner. The documentary short category, meanwhile, is one of those picks that will make or break your Oscar pool, with no one film a runaway favorite. The short with the most votes among experts is Strangers No More, which focuses on a school for international students in Israel.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersOther films

Foreign Language Film
Image In a Better World Experts 45%
Users 18%
  Incendies Experts 32%
Users 11%
  Biutiful Experts 24%
Users 55%
  Dogtooth 0%
Users 11%
  Outside the Law 0%
Users 5%
Live-Action Short Film
Image Na Wewe Experts 36%
Users 13%
  Wish 143 Experts 32%
Users 15%
  God of Love Experts 16%
Users 28%
  The Confession Experts 8%
Users 22%
  The Crush Experts 8%
Users 22%

Three films appear to have a shot at the foreign language Oscar, with Denmark's In a Better World having a slight edge among experts (and also getting a boost by winning the Golden Globe in the same category). With votes split fairly evenly among the five films, Metacritic users appear to be guessing in the live-action short category; frankly, we suspect that many of the "experts" are, as well. In case you were wondering, Na Wewe deals with the Rwandan genocide, while Wish 143 centers on an unusual request made by a terminally ill boy.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersMusic

Original Score
Image Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross
The Social Network
Experts 53%
Users 48%
  Alexandre Desplat
The King's Speech
Experts 42%
Users 11%
  Hans Zimmer
Inception
Experts 3%
Users 32%
  John Powell
How to Train Your Dragon
Experts 3%
Users 3%
  A.R. Rahman
127 Hours
0%
Users 6%
Original Song
Image "We Belong Together"
Toy Story 3
Experts 71%
Users 51%
  "If I Rise"
127 Hours
Experts 21%
Users 28%
  "I See the Light"
Tangled
Experts 5%
Users 12%
  "Coming Home"
Country Strong
Experts 3%
Users 9%

Neither the experts nor Metacritic users could resist betting on Randy Newman in the song category, despite the fact that the veteran songwriter has just one Oscar victory to show for his 19 previous nominations. If the Newman curse strikes again, "If I Rise," by A.R. Rahman, Dido, and Rollo Armstrong, seems the likely alternative. The unresolved question posed by the original score category is whether Oscar voters will embrace the electronic stylings of Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor or prefer four-time nominee Alexandre Desplat's more traditional orchestral score for The King's Speech. A win by any of the three other composers would be a major upset.

Experts Experts      Users Metacritic UsersTechnical categories

Art Direction
Image The King's Speech Experts 39%
Users 20%
  Inception Experts 32%
Users 46%
  Alice in Wonderland Experts 29%
Users 21%
  2 others 0%
Users 14%
Cinematography
Image Roger Deakins
True Grit
Experts 82%
Users 23%
  Matthew Libatique
Black Swan
Experts 11%
Users 20%
  Wally Pfister
Inception
Experts 8%
Users 38%
  2 others 0%
Users 20%
Costume Design
Image Alice in Wonderland Experts 47%
Users 40%
Image The King's Speech Experts 47%
Users 41%
  True Grit Experts 5%
Users 15%
  2 others 0%
Users 5%
Film Editing
Image The Social Network Experts 70%
Users 48%
  127 Hours Experts 14%
Users 15%
  The King's Speech Experts 8%
Users 12%
  Black Swan Experts 5%
Users 20%
  The Fighter Experts 3%
Users 6%
Makeup
Image The Wolfman Experts 71%
Users 59%
  Barney's Version Experts 24%
Users 23%
  The Way Back Experts 5%
Users 18%
Sound Editing
Image Inception Experts 97%
Users 72%
  True Grit Experts 3%
Users 5%
  Tron Legacy 0%
Users 14%
  2 others 0%
Users 10%
Sound Mixing
Image Inception Experts 89%
Users 68%
  The Social Network Experts 8%
Users 18%
  The King's Speech Experts 3%
Users 7%
  2 others 0%
Users 8%
Visual Effects
Image Inception Experts 95%
Users 83%
  Alice in Wonderland Experts 3%
Users 7%
  Iron Man 2 Experts 3%
Users 3%
  2 others 0%
Users 7%

Art direction and costume design appear to be two of the tightest races this year, which means that they, like the short film categories, will likely determine the winner of your Oscar pool. And it looks like the consolation prize for Inception will be a trio of awards for sound and visual effects.

List of experts

The expert predictions listed above come from the following sources:

  • Thelma Adams, US Weekly**
  • Brooke Anderson, CNN**
  • Tim Appelo, Hollywood Reporter**
  • Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon
  • Anthony Breznican, USA Today*
  • Erik Davis, Cinematical**
  • Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
  • Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times**
  • Gregory Ellwood, HitFix*
  • Scott Feinberg, ScottFeinberg.com**
  • Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood*
  • Eugene Hernandez, indieWIRE*
  • Peter Howell, Toronto Star*
  • Joseph Kapsch, Zap2It**
  • Dave Karger, Entertainment Weekly (Feb. 25, 2011 issue)
  • Tariq Khan, Fox411**
  • Peter Knegt, indieWIRE
  • Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.com*
  • Kevin Lewin, WENN**
  • Guy Lodge, In Contention**
  • Moviefone (uncredited)
  • Michael Musto, Village Voice**
  • Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times*
  • Tom O'Neil, The Envelope**
  • David Poland, Movie City News*
  • Kevin Polowy, Next Movie**
  • Steve Pond, The Wrap*
  • Paul Sheehan, Gold Derby**
  • Keith Simanton, IMDb**
  • Sasha Stone, Awards Daily*
  • Kris Tapley, In Contention*
  • Anne Thompson, indieWIRE*
  • Bob Tourtellotte, Reuters**
  • Peter Travers, Rolling Stone**
  • Stu Van Airsdale, Movieline**
  • Chuck Walton, Fandango**
  • Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere**
  • Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today*

* As reported in Movie City News' Gurus O' Gold column (as of February 22, 2011)
** As reported at Gold Derby on February 23, 2011

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (5)

  • jeffery lebowski  

    Where is Jackass 3D in the documentaries part? It's the clear winner but I don't even see it listed.

  • Nathan Ligon  

    I agree with this list. IF YOU WANT TO GET ANOTHER GOOD IDEA OF WHAT THE BEST IS CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT AT THE FOLLOWING LINK>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Est8zpD6A

  • Anonymous  

    Nothing's perfect. KING'S SPEECH is beautifully executed but a little thin on content. SOCIAL NETWORK has strong moments but is hideously overwritten and gimmicky.

  • Patty D  

    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World deserves a nomination for film editing. It might just be because I'm a fan boy, but it at least deserves something.
    And The Social Network deserves more than it's receiving from the Academy. I just read something that said the old folks in the academy are only voting for The King's Speech over it because they just don't understand. I'm not ridiculing The King's Speech, though. It's still an amazing masterpiece itself.

  • Psychedelic Soul Foo  

    By God's grace, I hope the King's Speech doesn't win.

    Nah I'm just kidding. But still, The Social Network should win Best Picture and Best Director. It truly deserves to be recognized.

    Hopefully the Academy doesn't screw up like they did in 1990 by giving the award to "Dances with Wolves" instead of "Goodfellas"

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/critics-reassess-youre-the-worst-the-leftovers-the-bridge- Image
    Second Opinions: TV Critics Re-Evaluate the Summer Shows
    September 17, 2014 - 3 comments
    1. NeoBasch : I came here to see Metacritic's coverage of The Leftovers after all the extremely positive reviews I've read... Read »
    2. Duke_Challenger : Masters of Sex: Season 2 is really great. I like the critics started growing tired after a bit, but the show gets... Read »
    3. JRath : What to say about The Leftovers? I initially watched the first three episodes and found myself bored with it so I... Read »
  2. /feature/music-releases-for-the-week-of-september-15-2014 Image
    Music Monday (9/15): This Week's New Albums + Videos
    September 15, 2014 - 1 comment
    1. LamontRaymond : Jeff the Brotherhood hits the road this week in support of their new album. And Bella Novela is putting the... Read »
  3. /feature/film-festival-reviews-2014-tiff-venice-telluride Image
    2014 Fall Film Festival Recap: The Verdict on Films Screening at TIFF, Telluride, and Venice
    September 15, 2014 - 2 comments
    1. Pazzo7 : I was shocked when I saw the score for Chris Rock's movie.WOW.I am really looking forward to it and I am truly happy... Read »
    2. golem64 : I saw Adult Beginners at TIFF starring comedian Nick Kroll. It is a great comedy drama and Kroll is an excellent... Read »
  4. /feature/fall-2014-tv-preview-abc-cbs-nbc-fox-cw-new-shows Image
    Fall TV Preview: A Guide to New & Returning Broadcast Shows
    September 11, 2014 - 2 comments
    1. dunker : Duke_Challanger, you are obviously a very discriminating viewer. While I agree that The Good Wife is the best show on... Read »
  5. /feature/destiny-ps4-xbox-early-reviews-and-observations Image
    Destiny: Early Impressions From Critics
    September 9, 2014 - 21 comments
    1. poker909 : I kept telling myself if I played more I would start to like it, but I don't. I love FPS and MMO and understand the... Read »
  6. /feature/best-new-streaming-movies-and-tv-august-2014 Image
    What to Watch Now: Best New Streaming Movies & TV at Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and Hulu
    August 20, 2014 - 3 comments
    1. unstrucksound : This is a great monthly topic -- very helpful to make an informed decision before viewing. I really hope you keep... Read »
  7. /feature/best-and-worst-films-of-2013 Image
    The Best and Worst Movies of 2013
    January 6, 2014 - 6 comments
    1. ilveirinso : happy to see "Pines" in the top 25 :) Read »