Some first thoughts.
Right down the line, this year really is going to be a generational vote between The Old Hollywood and The New Hollywood.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman will almost surely be the favorite of younger Academy voters for her performance in Black Swan. Many older voters will certainly be embracing Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right. In addition, Ms. Bening may get votes for her entire body of work and Black Swan as a film may not appeal to as many older voters.
Best Actor: Colin Firth seems a shoo-in here, not just for his performance in The King’s Speech, but also for his body of work. Again, generationally, Jesse Eisenberg will get a lot of votes for his wonderful performance in The Social Network, but The Old Hollywood will almost certainly win out here.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale will almost certainly win favor with younger voters for The Fighter but Geoffrey Rush also has the career arc issue in his favor with older voters for The King’s Speech. in addition, The King’s Speech seems a better fit with older voters than The Fighter.
Best Supporting Actress: Again, Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech as The Old Hollywood or Amy Adams or Melissa Leo for The Fighter, representing the New Hollywood?
Best Picture. Old vs. New Hollywood again. Will the older Academy members go with a prototypical Old Hollywood, inspirational movie with 2 admired actors in The King’s Speech or The Social Network, the younger Hollywood film about the social phenomenon of our times.
I’ve never seen a year when the generational lines seem as clearly drawn as this year so the vote will be a fascinating insight into how the Academy is feeling nowadays about the film that represents the film industry to the rest of the world. Will it be an Old Hollywood film or a New Hollywood film? Or will it be a split decision?
Much more in the days ahead.
What do you think about the nominations this year?