Image Credit: Merrick MortonThe ballots for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have been mailed today, beginning the all-important three-week-long period before they’re due on Jan. 14. Not much has changed in the past week since my last round of predictions (I am now putting Natalie Portman above Annette Bening for Best Actress, though I think the race is still too close to call). But I have been interested to watch as many of my Oscar-prognosticator colleagues have changed their predicted Best Picture winner from The King’s Speech to The Social Network. Several of you have wondered in the comments why I haven’t switched my No. 1 and No. 2 rankings after Network‘s virtual clean sweep of the critics awards. Believe me, I’ve wavered back and forth over the last few weeks. But I keep reminding myself that Oscar voters are not critics. If they were, then L.A. Confidential would have beaten Titanic. And Brokeback Mountain would have won over Crash. (Of course, critics and Academy members line up sometimes too, as they did last year with The Hurt Locker.) The only group to announce so far with a voting body that overlaps with the Academy is the Screen Actors Guild, and I find it interesting that Network earned only two nominations compared to four for Speech or The Fighter. I keep hearing from many Academy members who absolutely adore The King’s Speech. Can The Social Network win Best Picture on Feb. 27? Of course it can. Particularly if voters decide they want an American film to win. But until it picks up significant guild support, I’m not ready to swap my rankings.


1. The King’s Speech (last week: 1)

2. The Social Network (last week: 2)

3. The Fighter (last week: 4)

4. Inception (last week: 3)

5. True Grit (last week: 5)

6. Toy Story 3 (last week: 6)

7. Black Swan (last week: 7)

8. The Kids Are All Right (last week: 8 )

9. Winter’s Bone (last week: 9)

10. The Town (last week: 10)

11. 127 Hours (last week: 11)

12. Another Year (last week: 12)

13. Rabbit Hole (last week: 13)

14. Get Low (last week: 14)

15. The Ghost Writer (last week: 15)


1. David Fincher, The Social Network (last week: 1)

2. Christopher Nolan, Inception (last week: 2)

3. Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech (last week: 3)

4. Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit (last week: 4)

5. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (last week: 5)

6. David O. Russell, The Fighter (last week: 6)

7. Ben Affleck, The Town (last week: 7)

8. Danny Boyle, 127 Hours (last week: 8 )

9. Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone (last week: 9)

10. Mike Leigh, Another Year (last week: 10)


1. Colin Firth, The King’s Speech (last week: 1)

2. James Franco, 127 Hours (last week: 2)

3. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (last week: 3)

4. Jeff Bridges, True Grit (last week: 4)

5. Robert Duvall, Get Low (last week: 5)

6. Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine (last week: 6)

7. Javier Bardem, Biutiful (last week: 7)

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter (last week: 8 )

9. Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole (last week: 9)

10. Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception (last week: 10)


1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan (last week: 2)

2. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (last week: 1)

3. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone (last week: 3)

4. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (last week: 4)

5. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (last week: 5)

6. Lesley Manville, Another Year (last week: 6)

7. Hilary Swank, Conviction (last week: 8 )

8. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right (last week: 7)

9. Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice (last week: 9)

10. Noomi Rapace, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 10)


1. Christian Bale, The Fighter (last week: 1)

2. Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech (last week: 2)

3. Jeremy Renner, The Town (last week: 3)

4. Andrew Garfield, The Social Network (last week: 4)

5. Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (last week: 5)

6. Sam Rockwell, Conviction (last week: 6)

7. John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone (last week: 7)

8. Bill Murray, Get Low (last week: 9)

9. Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (last week: 10)

10. Jim Broadbent, Another Year (last week: 8 )


1. Melissa Leo, The Fighter (last week: 1)

2. Amy Adams, The Fighter (last week: 2)

3. Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech (last week: 3)

4. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (last week: 4)

5. Mila Kunis, Black Swan (last week: 5)

6. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (last week: 6)

7. Dianne Wiest, Rabbit Hole (last week: 7)

8. Sissy Spacek, Get Low (last week: 8 )

9. Barbara Hershey, Black Swan (last week: 10)

10. Ruth Sheen, Another Year (last week: 9)