And the Oscar goes to…

OscarsTonight – about five to six hours from now – the 2011 Academy Awards show will get underway; here’s my list of the winners and why.

[Update ~11pm – Watched the Oscars; added winners/losers. Got seven of nine correct.]

Best Picture – The King’s Speech
Why: I haven’t seen yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. And it’s the traditional type of big Hollywood movie the Academy traditionally rewards. Correct

Best Director – David Fincher, The Social Network
Why: The Facebook movie is picked by a lot of critics to take home the Best Picture award, but I just don’t see that happening. While a somewhat traditional Hollywood movie (hard work, some backstabbing and you make good), it’s more of a younger movie, and the Academy is old. I think the Academy may reward Fincher with the Best Director award instead of the Best Picture award (which, as I outlined above, will go to The King’s Speech) – much like the way it was done with Brokeback Mountain a few years ago. Wrong – it went to the favorite, The King’s Speach.

Best Actor – Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Why: Nothing but good press for Firth in a highly-acclaimed movie. And movies where one plays against type of or has a disability (think Rainman, Forrest Gump, Boys Don’t Cry) give one an extra bump. This is a gimme. Correct

Best Actress – Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Why: See Best Actor, above. Much, much darker than anything she has played. Though the sexual elements of her performance may work against her with some Academy members. We are such prudes in this country. Correct

Best Support Actor – Christian Bale, The Fighter
Why: Really, the only competition for Bale is Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech. Since this is going to be a King’s Speech night, Rush has a chance of pulling an upset. However, he has won before (Best Actor for Shining), and the Academy tends to reward someone new. If merit alone won Academy Awards, think of how cluttered Meryl Streep’s mantelpiece would be… Correct

Best Supporting Actress – Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Why: Most critics say Leo is a lock, but with both her and Amy Adams nominated for the same slot from the same movie, there might be some ballot-splitting. But I still see Leo taking the statue home. If there is a split, Helena Bonham Carter will be the winner – again, it’s going to be a King’s Speech love fest… Correct

Best Original Screenplay – Christopher Nolan, Inception
Why: I really haven’t read much about this – I believe The King’s Speech is nominated here, as well. But Inception is just so strikingly original that I think is should win. Wrong – went to The King’s Speech. Interesting.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Why: This was brilliant writing and, to me, was the best part of the movie. If this doesn’t win, that’ll be a big surprise to me. Correct

Best Animated Film – Toy Story 3
Why: Because every Pixar film is so many times better than the competition… Correct

The envelope please…

Random thoughts

Tonight (Sunday) I’m tailing a work initiative, so it’s time in front of the computer but nothing intensive.

So I give you some (completely) random thoughts I’ve jotted in a tickler.

  • Pet Peeve – Newspapers/TV news online, identify yourselves: No charges filed against journalist handcuffed by Miller security. OK, this one is Alaska, and the story has a dateline (Anchorage). But where is this station/newspaper? KTUU is “Alaska’s News Source” – Alaska is a big state. Anchorage/Fairbanks/Juneau/North Slope?? While news is local, anyone can access same: Many Google Alerts to newspaper/TV sites take you to sites that locally might be well known, but not to an outsider. The “Daily Herald” means nothing to me. How about adding, “The most trusted name in the [city name] “ or whatever?
  • Incredibly stupid question: Why doesn’t the monitor have the graphics stuff? Just a common driver from computer to monitor; said monitor may have a huge video cache (or not).
  • Incredibly stupid question deux: When are we getting an HDMI-like connector (all-in-one) for computers to monitors/KVMs? Apple got close to this a decade ago (mouse connects to keyboard; keyboard to computer. It’s 10 years later, and we still, for the most part, have four cords running out of/into the back of the computer: Mouse, keyboard, video and ethernet. The ethernet is a little different, but I still see this in the future (unless wireless gets so good that ethernet is not needed – this may be true for home networking, but not for data centers, let’s say)
  • AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post: Yes, this a week old. I haven’t commented because I haven’t had the time, but I think it’s a great deal for both parties, especially for The Huffington Post. Arianna is someone who “gets” News 2.0 (my phrase); with the cash and control (editorial director) AOL is is giving her, she has a chance to continue her discovery processes (I’m certain it is a discovery process; there is no road map for News 2.0; it’s in flux) with a little more wiggle room and the opportunity to play “what if” a bit more. Note: HuffPo’s version of News 2.0 is, to me, just one possible News 2.0. That’s what confounds newspapers and aids (smart) online news sites. Dead-tree news works one way: Print news, subsidize with subscriptions and advertising; delivery is analog (truck roll). Online News 2.0 can be anything –; blogs;; Twitter streams and so on. It’s live and constantly updated. It’s pretty damn exciting. BTW, now AOL = Arianna On Line