****For Awards Frenzy’s most current predictions, please visit:*****
http://www.awardsfrenzy.com/commentary/83rd-academy-awards-initial-winner-projections/

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The first wave of critics awards are over and we now have a clearer picture of what will be nominated and what won’t. Of course, a lot can still change with the guilds weighing in during the month of January, but that doesn’t alter the fact that several actors/actresses/films have more or less locked their positions on the Oscar ballot. Below we break down all the main categories for this year’s Academy Awards.

2011 Oscar Nominations Preview:

Best Picture:

Who’s in:

The Social Network
The King’s Speech
The Fighter
Inception
Black Swan
Toy Story 3

Pretty much in:

The Kids Are All Right
True Grit
The Town

On the bubble:

127 Hours
Winter’s Bone
Shutter Island

Analysis: Watch out for Shutter Island. It made a lot of money and is getting a big push from the studio. It could be the dark horse of the year, much like The Blind Side was last year.

Best Actor:

Who’s in:

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
James Franco, 127 Hours

Pretty much in:

Robert Duvall, Get Low
Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Outside looking in:

Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Analysis: We’re keeping an eye on Wahlberg, because if The Fighter does as well as expected, the entire cast may get swept in. Bridges may be most vulnerable since he won this award last year.

Best Actress:

Who’s in:

Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Pretty much in:

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit-Hole

On the bubble:

Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Lesley Manville, Another Year

Analysis: It’s basically six actresses vying for five spots. Manville may be the odd one out because her film was less popular than the other five.

Best Director:

Who’s in:

David Fincher, The Social Network
Christopher Nolan, Inception
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Pretty much in:

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

On the bubble:

David O. Russell, The Fighter
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Analysis: The question here is whether or not Boyle and the Coens get credit for their previous work, because otherwise Russell should get his first Oscar nomination.

Best Supporting Actor:

Who’s in:

Christian Bale, The Fighter
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Pretty much in:

Jeremy Renner, The Town
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

Outside looking in:

John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Sam Rockwell, Conviction

Analysis: The top five look to be it, but Rockwell was sensational and may get some attention. Garfield may be vulnerable since he’s not a big name, and voters may also split their votes by choosing Armie Hammer from the same movie for another brilliant performance.

Best Supporting Actress:

Who’s in:

Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech

Pretty much in:

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Mila Kunis, Black Swan

On the bubble:

Hailee Steinfield, True Grit
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Analysis: It’s the exact same analysis as the Best Actress category, with six competing for five and the likely person out being an actress from a relatively unknown film (Animal Kingdom).