Oscars 2011: The FASHION team places bets on who’ll take top honours


By Siofan Davies, Rani Sheen and Lesa Hannah

The Oscars air this Sunday, and let’s be frank: It’s a competition determined by a bunch of narcissists—is the piece important enough, is the actor deserving, what does it mean within the context of cinema in America? We won’t be considering these lofty questions, but rather, who do we want to win? (In the Best Foreign Language category, it’s obvious: Canada’s Denis Villeneuve and Incendies FTW!)

The voters are…

Siofan Davies, assistant editor/research and cynical film-industry watcher
Rani Sheen, features editor and lover of good stories
Lesa Hannah, beauty director and ringmistress of FASHION’s annual Oscar pool

Let the games begin!

Photography courtesy of Lancashire County Council

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem in Biutiful
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours

SD: Colin Firth. He’s got so much momentum that it’s a no-brainer. Bardem and Bridges already have their awards, and Franco’s and Eisenberg’s projects are highly topical and haven’t proven whether they’ll still be talked about next year, let alone years from now.

RS: It has to be Colin Firth and his extraordinary stuttering King George VI—everyone will feel good about this supremely gracious and professional (not to mention toothsome) Brit taking home some hardware.

LH: Colin Firth because he’s won everything up else leading up to this and they didn’t give it to him for A Single Man. Plus his speech will be so eloquent, humble and gentlemanly.

Photography courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

SD: I saw Winter’s Bone, and while I think it was a lovely independent film and Lawrence has great potential I don’t get this nom. The rest of these noms are boring to be honest, haven’t we seen them all doing the Oscar race before? I will give it to Natalie Portman just cause I can’t get through an hour-long ballet class without thinking I deserve an award.

RS: My head says Natalie Portman, because her role and her personal life and her swag of awards thus far is a bit of a juggernaut, but my heart says Michelle Williams and her struggling, soulful nurse, mother and lover in Blue Valentine

LH: I’m with Rani, I would DIE to see Williams win this, if only to hear her speech—think of it, she’d mention Heath for sure! But she has no hope in hell. It would be nice for Bening to get it just because she’s overdue, but her performance is in no way as showey as Natalie Portman’s. Plus, did you SEE those lithe, sinewy ballet muscles? Sheesh.

Photography courtesy of Alliance Films.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech

SD: The Academy is never going to give Christian Bale an award for playing Batman, and in The Fighter he proves he’s still willing to transform himself physically for a character, as he did in The Machinist. It’s a role that represents his dedication as a capital A method Actor.

RS: I’m a Renner fan but this role doesn’t show his full potential, and while Geoffrey Rush is always genius, he wasn’t stretched playing a kindly, slightly dotty speech therapist. Neither John Hawkes nor Mark Ruffalo has the star power to stand in Christian Bale’s way here.

LH: FINALLY Christian Bale gets some recognition after years of hardcore, overlooked work. For that reason alone, it’s his and only his.

Photography courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom

SD: This is the category where the Academy usually offers an upset. I feel like everyone votes across the board and so the person who wins just does so marginally and with some amount of luck. I want Hailee Steinfeld to win because she makes True Grit.

RS: I loved Helena Bonham Carter’s steely but playful Queen Mum in the King’s Speech, but would be very happy to see Hailee Steinfeld start off a sure-to-be remarkable career with a glitzy bang. As a side note, she’s also the person I’m most excited to see on the red carpet. Prabal, Prada, what next?

LH: I thought for sure Melissa Leo had this until those unfortunate, ill-advised Oscar campaign glamour shots surfaced. They hurt because I wanted to believe she was so much cooler than that. However, in spite of her faux fur and pearls, I’m sticking with Leo. Also because I am so in love with her hair do in The Fighter.

Photography courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland Colleen Atwood
I Am Love Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech Jenny Beavan
The Tempest Sandy Powell
True Grit Mary Zophres

SD: Sandy Powell is a favourite of the Academy, but The Tempest didn’t do so well. Isn’t Colleen Atwood nominated every year? She’s won two. I am going to go for Mary Zophres because she put Matt Damon in that amazing Texas Ranger costume.

RS: Here’s hoping the Academy does the fashion industry a solid and rewards Antonella Cannarozzi for enlisting Raf Simons to clothe Tilda Swinton’s Italian textile heiress.

LH: I can’t speak to any of these since I’ve seen none so I’ll just hope along with Rani that Simons scores this one if only to shake things up.

Photography courtesy of Columbia Tristar


Black Swan Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter David O. Russell
The King’s Speech Tom Hooper
The Social Network David Fincher
True Grit Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

SD: This one I always get wrong. I think it’s because I’ve never rushed a fraternity and that’s what this category always feels like.

RS: I think David Fincher might swing this one, if only because he brought credibility to a movie about Facebook and managed to make something tense, tight and almost poetic out of a bunch of scenes of people chatting in a boardroom.

LH: I’m still personally offended that Christopher Nolan is not among this group, but FINE. In that case I’ll go with David Fincher because even he is perplexed that this film is getting the accolades it is, so I think that would make for an interesting speech.


Best Picture

Black Swan Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
The Fighter David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
Inception Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
The Kids Are All Right Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
The King’s Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
127 Hours Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
The Social Network Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
Toy Story 3 Darla K. Anderson, Producer
True Grit Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
Winter’s Bone Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

SD: I think it will be The King’s Speech but I want it to be The Fighter just so I can see Rhea Durham have a giant spazz when her husband Mark Wahlberg gets up to go onstage.

RS: Having just watched Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, I have full faith in the man to heave his pet project, The King’s Speech, to the podium.

LH: Dying to see that Weinstein documentary! Even without seeing it, I have full faith that The King’s Speech has a lock on this.