Well, as many of you surely know by now, Awards Frenzy’s final predictions for the 83rd Academy Awards have been posted. As tempting as it may be to second guess ourselves in the days and hours before the Oscars, we are not going to do so. Many of our predictions this year are contrary to the consensus. For comparison purposes, check out Award Daily’s big predictions chart below. Awards Frenzy’s picks are on the bottom of the page.

http://www.awardsdaily.com/Predictions/main.php

Let’s go over some of the key categories. The Supporting Actor and Actress categories are going to be hotly contested. Most experts believe Christian Bale and Melissa Leo will emerge victorious. If you were betting in Vegas, that would probably be the smart money play. But in the business of Oscar predictions, sometimes you got to go with your gut. As much as we would love to see Hailee Steinfeld win, she’s probably still too young. It’s been a while since a teenager won an Oscar, and Steinfeld hasn’t been out there actively campaigning for the win. Melissa Leo, on the other hand, is a well respected actress who wowed audiences with her role in Frozen River a few years back. Her performance in The Fighter required a physical transformation, and she’s won both the Golden Globe and the SAG. We think Leo wins this in a squeaker.

Now let’s turn to Supporting Actor. People are saying to us, how can you bet against Bale, one of the greatest actors working in Hollywood today? Furthermore, he is sensational in The Fighter, disappearing into the role of the crack-addicted brother Dickie, as he usually does. All that is true, but we think the difference here will be that he’s going up against an actor from The King’s Speech. The King’s Speech has won audiences over with its brilliant performances, those of Best Actor nominee Colin Firth and Best Supporting Actor nominee Geoffrey Rush. By almost everyone’s account, Firth is a lock for Best Actor. So we ask this question, if Firth will win, why can’t Rush? A few weeks ago, Geoffrey Rush won the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor. Sound familiar? You may remember that in 2006, Eddie Murphy won all the precursor awards, but then lost the BAFTA to Alan Arkin of Little Miss Sunshine. Guess who won at the Oscars? Hint, it wasn’t Axel F.

Finally, let’s take a quick look at two of the technical categories: art direction and costume design. Once again, most experts are going with The King’s Speech. Can’t really blame them. After all, if The King’s Speech does sweep, it will most likely take those categories. But are we really looking at a sweeps year? Think about it. When is the last time we had a true sweep? You would have to go back to 2003, when Return of The King won 11 Oscars. And before that, 1998 and 1997 with Titanic and The English Patient. Those were the years when the Best Picture winner won Art Direction and Costume Design, along with Cinematography and Score. Frankly, we just do not believe that The King’s Speech is in the same class. It’s not really an epic. It’s a biopic. Furthermore, it’s a film driven by performances, not technical artistry. Therefore, in the incredibly difficult to predict categories of Art Direction and Costume Design, we’re doing the unthinkable – actually predicting the films that deserve to win. Inception had the best art direction and Alice in Wonderland the best costumes. Will Academy voters be shrewd enough to give them due recognition? Maybe not. We could totally be wrong and The King’s Speech walks home with 9 Oscars. If so, we’ll swallow our pride and regroup for next year. But, maybe, just maybe this is the year they get it right. Now wouldn’t that be something?

18 hours to go!