If BW readers comprised the Motion Picture Academy, what a wonderful world it would be. According to our online poll, our readers would dole out some gold to an audience favorite (Colin Firth), understand that youth should indeed be served (Hailee Steinfeld) and drop a bombshell by awarding the big prize to something edgy (Black Swan).
We asked readers to tell us who they think will win the Oscar and more importantly, who should win.
Best Actor--BW readers know that Colin Firth is the man to beat in this category. Last fall we got our first glimpse of The King's Speech at the Toronto International Film Festival. Firth has since heard hosannas from across the globe and filled his trophy case with statutes from every academy sans one: the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Science. On Sunday, Feb. 27, his life will change forever. From that moment on, he will be introduced as Oscar-winner Colin Firth.
Best Actress--BW readers think this one is a slam dunk, too. They think Natalie Portman (Black Swan) will and should win. No one else comes close.
Supporting Actor--BW readers must know that Oscar loves South Boston (The Departed, Mystic River, Good Will Hunting) and actors in movies about South Boston: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Robin Williams. Christian Bale in The Fighter is about as South Boston as it gets.
Supporting Actress--BW readers, a very astute group, think Melissa Leo (The Fighter) will win, but they think that Hailee Steinfeld should win for True Grit. Steinfeld gives a wonderful performance in what is truly a leading role. Placing her in the supporting actress category could make things very interesting.
Best Documentary--BW readers think Exit Through the Gift Shop will win and should win. By the way, this category could provide one of the more interesting moments of the evening. Banksy, the subject (and eventual director) of Exit may attend the ceremony. So what, you say? Banksy is a wanted criminal.
Best Picture--BW readers have read the tea leaves on this one, seeing The King's Speech has nabbed the most nominations (12) and already collected the best picture award from the Screen Actor's Guild and Producer's Guild. That's why they think that it will win. But the real surprise, is they think Black Swan should win the Oscar (with The King's Speech and Winter's Bone close runners-up).
The biggest buzz of the evening won't be generated by any Hollywood superstar. It will come from a group of elementary schoolkids from PS 22 in Staten Island, N.Y. They've been invited to perform in front of a worldwide audience of about 1 billion people. You're in for a real treat.