Natalie Portman & Colin Firth: Critics Choice Award Predictions

Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield in David Fincher's The Social Network (top); Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan (bottom)

Predictions for the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics' Choice Awards, to be held Friday, Jan. 14, are to a large extent predictions for the Academy Awards. Looking at their choices in the last ten years, the BFCA members have generally gone for the name most touted as the year's likely Oscar winner.

Usually the BFCA voters get it right, e.g., The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, Sean Penn for Milk, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, The Departed, Helen Mirren for The Queen. At times, the Oscars take a weird turn and the BFCA gets it wrong, e.g., Brokeback Mountain in 2005, Kate Winslet's unexpected Best Actress – instead of Best Supporting ActressOscar nomination (and eventual win) for The Reader in 2008.

When not presaging the Oscars, the BFCA voters have usually gone for the most famous name in any particular category (Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls, Quentin Tarantino's screenplay for Inglourious Basterds, Bruce Springsteen's song for The Wrestler, etc.)

That being the case, barring one more tie (Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep last year; Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway the previous year; Amy Adams and Michelle Williams in 2005), here are the likely 2011 Critics Choice (single) winners:

Best Film: The Social Network, which should also earn awards for Best Director (David Fincher) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin). The Best Actress will most likely be Natalie Portman for Black Swan, while Colin Firth should win the Best Actor award. The Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories belong to Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for The Fighter.

Because there's no Oscar equivalent, the Best Ensemble category is harder to predict. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes to The Kids Are All Right as a sort of consolation prize; otherwise, veteran Annette Bening will most likely go home empty-handed. Even more difficult to predict is the unfunny Best Comedy category. My guess: Easy A, chiefly because it stars up-and-coming actress Emma Stone. Best Picture Made for Television: Temple Grandin, which received lots of SAG Award nods.

Photos: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures); Black Swan (Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight)

Natalie Portman & Colin Firth: Critics Choice Award Predictions © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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