Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win – And Who SHOULD Win

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 10:56 am,

Oscars 2011 83rd Academy Awards Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

UPDATE: Well the Oscars are over and we nailed it in all except two categories with our predictions. Check out the full list of Oscar Winners 2011.

This weekend movie fans will bear witness to the 83rd Academy Awards, and like in years past, the 2011 Oscar race is shaping up to be more a confirmation of what everybody already suspects, rather than a thrilling race between neck-and-neck films, actors, and directors who are all hoping to walk away basking in Oscar’s glory.

With films like Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, True Grit, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, Toy Story 3, and even Iron Man 2 up for nominations in different categories, the 2011 Oscars ceremony will offer something for arthouse, mainstream, and fanboy cinephiles alike.

In this 2011 Oscars prediction post, we will examine the top categories at this year’s Academy Awards (read: the categories you Screen Rant readers care most about) and offer our predictions regarding who the Academy will pick as winners (like we need a crystal ball for that). At the risk of having my head torn off in the comments section below, I will then offer an opinion on which actors, films, or filmmakers I believe SHOULD win in each category, and why I feel that particular person(s) or film warrants the highest recognition that Hollywood has to offer.

We have a lot of categories to cover, so best get started.

For more information on the films nominated, be sure to check out our tag list at the bottom of the post for links to our movie archives.

2011 Oscar Predictions

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″ Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
  • “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
  • “Iron Man 2″ Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

inception movie Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who WILL Win: Inception

Harry Potter has only gotten better in terms of its visual effects and Deathly Hallows Part 1 certainly upped the ante with aerial wizard duels, giant snakes, elves, wand sparks galore and even seven Daniel Radcliffes sharing the screen. Iron Man 2 was no slouch in the effects department either, giving us some truly great (if seldom) moments of superhero action. However, Inception‘s hallway fight was an instant classic, and the work Nolan put in to realize this world of dreams (within dreams, within dreams, within dreams) was awe-inspiring. As usual, I believe the Academy will reward Nolan for his technical prowess rather than his vision.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Multiple Harrys Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who SHOULD Win: Inception

Anybody but Hereafter. In all seriousness, though, the Inception team deserves this win, followed closely by the Harry Potter team.

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Biutiful” – Mexico
  • “Dogtooth” – Greece
  • “In a Better World” – Denmark
  • “Incendies” – Canada
  • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” – Algeria

Outside The Law Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who WILL Win: Outside the Law

This is always a tough category to call – I never seem to be able to gauge the Academy’s mindset when it comes to International films. The obvious choice would be Biutiful, but mostly because it’s the film that Americans are most familiar with. Dogtooth was a powerful film, but more shocking-powerful than moving-powerful – and the academy rarely rewards disturbing movies of that nature. In a Better World and Incendies are both films that explore human relationships in profound ways, but I’m going to go ahead and say that Outside the Law‘s mix of action, suspense, family and political drama will earn it the award – despite all the controversy over its historical inaccuracies.

biutiful javier bardem Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who SHOULD Win: Biutiful

I’m a big fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams), and I’m also a growing fan of Javier Bardem, so naturally I have a strong bias when it comes to Biutiful winning for Best Foreign Language Film. If I MUST be objective, I would say that Outside the Law is a worthy film for the win.

Best documentary feature

  • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
  • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
  • “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
  • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
  • “Waste Land” (Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Restrepo Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who WILL Win: Restrepo

Not too sure on this one – it’s always hard to tell which documentary burns itself deepest in the Academy members’ minds. This year we have three films exploring the (supposed) unraveling of America on the military and economic fronts (Restrepo, Inside Job and Gasland) – while on the more uplifting side of things, we have two films exploring the nature and power of art (Exit through the Gift Shop and Waste Land). Depending on the mood of the Academy members, I’d say either Gift Shop or Restrepo will get the award.

exit through gift shop Oscar 2011 Predictions: Who Will Win   And Who SHOULD Win

Who SHOULD Win: Waiting For Superman

Waiting For Superman. OK, OK… it’s not nominated but it damn well should’ve been. Even considering the nominees we do have: The human story at the center of Restrepo is certainly moving, and Exit through the Gift Shop is a rare and precious gem of a documentary that seemingly comes out of nowhere. Charles Ferguson’s damning look at the pattern of corruption shared between government, the financial services sector and academia is the most eye-opening slice of real-life on this list. But still, the winner SHOULD have been Waiting For Superman and it’s a damned shame it wasn’t nominated.

Continue for Best Animated Feature, plus Adapted and Original Screenplays

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  1. I appreciate you posting your pics, but this article is way too hard to read. I don’t want to read a paragraph of waffling before you actually name your pick. If you had put the pick in bold, or right after the words “who will win” I would actually read this. It’s really difficult to figure out what picks you’re even making. Because of this, I can’t get past your first 3 categories.

    • Sorry.

    • Dinab

      Sorry, sometimes we assume that everyone is as big a film geek as we are and wants to read all this stuff 😛

      I’ve made the most more accessible for a “quick read”


      • Well I for one loved reading your thoughts and you completely validated yourself by stating that you thought Jackie Weaver should win for Animal Kingdom. A brilliant, horrifying performance and one that will sadly go unrecognised on Sunday.

  2. I think your predictions are slot on Kofi. Of course they also match mine lol. Suprused you left out cinematograpy though. I think that will come down to “True Grit” or “Inception”(Deakins and Pfister respectively ).

    • There’s another article about that.

      Will we see art direction, score, and other tech categories by the way?

      • Art direction is going to be one of the period pieces “true grit” or “king speech”.

        Score will hopefully go to Trent Reznor and the other guy who he worked with.

        • I want “How To Train Your Dragon” to win score though…

          And the other guy is Atticus Ross.

  3. I just find it funny how a few months ago when I asked Screenrant if they would do an article like this, Vic said no, now here it is.

    For best actress I’d rather it go to Michelle Williams, have yet to see Rabbit Hole but Williams does more in the film than Portman does in hers.

    Actor, I pick Jesse Eisenberg, and for original screenplay, despite the fact that I didn’t like the movie, I agree. The Kids are All Right should take the award. Man what an awful category on that one.

    As for Supporting Actress, I think it’ll go to Hailee. Or if The King’s Speech starts sweeping awards then Carter could benefit from it and win.
    But how shockingly awesome would it be if Weaver won? (P.S. Barbara Hershey deserved to be nominated here)

  4. Those are good picks Kofi.
    I hope there are some surprises though.

    • yh

  5. Totally agree on the ‘Pixar movies being formulaic’ thing. I love their movies, but it’s kinda a routine now.. I loved Toy Story 3, but that was because I had an attachment to the characters. The 1st half of TS3 was actually a little slow, which was felt specially by those who hadn’t watched the previous two movies.

    • I agree entirely. The Toy Story films, as great as they are, to me (apart from Cars) are my least-favourite Pixar. That’s not to say that I don’t think they are great, on the contrary. But Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, etc all do it for me so much more.

      How To Train Your Dragon, on the other hand, completely blew me out of the water. Stunning on every level. Sadly it wont get the glory I think it deserves. It will have to settle for its Annie.

      • I like most of the ones you listed except I think that Wall-E and Ratatouille were the two worst Pixar films even worse than Cars.

        I think Toy Story is the best, but 2 and 3 both fall short of the original for me hell I didn’t even like the second one. The Incredible is a very close second.

        • Daniel! Really?? Ratatouille is my fave of them all. Just a beautiful, sumptuous film. The moment when the food critic takes that first bite and reverts to his childhood is the most tear-inducing moment in animation for me. Maybe I’ve turned into an old softie :)

          i love how people can have such varied taste in film. All legitimate Mine just more so 😉

          • I’m a softie when it comes to animation as well, but Ratatouillie didn’t do it for me. I didn’t feel emotional at all I’ve felt emotional from maybe 80% of the pixar films, but not one emotion during ratatouille not one it’s the only one where I rolled my eyes even. I also only laughed one time during the film. It was just really dull to me.

            Wall-e I didn’t find emotional, funny and politically I hated it because it was nothing more than cheap propaganda.

            The rest of the Pixar line up though excluding cars is great.

            • Wall-E even I didn’t like much. It felt more like a short movie, don’t know why. It was fun to watch, but not at all great..

  6. ok so my theater is running a contest,and we have to predict the winners. Im trusting you screenrant 😉

  7. What about editing, anybody have an idea as to what the winner could be?

    And Ricky, I suggest you do the contest on Roger Ebert’s website, the grand prize is $100,000.

    • I just entered that contest :).

      • If you win the grand prize, don’t forget to give some of the money to me as a thank you for telling you about the contest.

        • Give me a link then ill thank ya 😉

  8. I really think How to Train Your Dragon deserves to win BEST ANIMATED MOVIE, but it won’t.

    As for BEST PICTURE, I’m hoping The Social Network takes it.

  9. I loved your comments on the films and the division of who should win or who will win even if dinab didn’t like it (he sounds like someone who thought Transformers 2 was a good movie). but i have to disagree with some of your choices, Hailee Steinfeld was a absolute treat to watch and defiantly worthy of the oscar (was the academy stoned when they decided she was a supporting actor in True Grit!? She is in practically in every shot of that movie!!). But while I’m pretty sure the Kings Speech will win the oscars I think the Social Network is more deserving (aei switch the last part). Also I believe inside job will probably win best doc and biutiful is a sure win too. And i think you are a being a little bit biased toward Natalie Portman, just because she is the “sure bet” doesn’t mean she isn’t deserving of the win. That was an awesome performance and she should be in the SHOULD WIN category.

  10. It’s a shame really because if Nolan had worked on his script and characters a bit more it really would have been THE movie. As it is I have to disagree about your Best Picture pick – it is BECAUSE The King’s Speech is a period drama and your run-of-the-mill (but extremely well done) inspirational story that it won’t exactly be a long-standing film. It’s hardly something we’d attribute to our generation in 10, 20 years time.

    Inception was the film with that quality. For all its faults the film is Defining of our time and people will be talking about it still later on. What (still) annoys me is that The Dark Knight had to be the sacrificial lamb that gives Inception the nominations it has now. TDK in my opinion was better all-around – much more developed characters, greater performances (though Inception’s cast did amazingly with what they were given), just as good a soundtrack and almost as stunning visual effects. It was his best chance at Best Picture, and now we have to pray that TDKR will end up being his third-time lucky film.

    (If the film’s title doesn’t hamper its chances though)

  11. I agree with your WHO WILL WIN, but disagree with nearly all of your who should win. Especially Best Director, Best original Screenplay and film of the year. The Fighter should win film of the year (won’t but should). Original should be Inception with out a doubt The Kids are all right shouldn’t even be nominated let alone win it was a waste of time to watch one of the worst films nominated for any awards. Best Director should of been Nolan but since he is not nominated I would say The Coens deserve it or Russel, but Fincher is obviously gonna take it.

  12. Something that bothers me is how you list the main reason that The Fighter won’t win is that its a true story and that dampens the originality aspect of the film, while the front runner is a true story. There’s gotta be a better reason than that for The Fighter.

    And Daniel, agree to disagree.
    I will say though that yes, The Kids are All Right is undeserving of a lot of the praise it has gotten over its release (Bening should have been in the Supporting Actress category or not nominated at all and Moore carried the emotional weight of the film, why didn’t she get any attention? And why is Mark Ruffalo even nominated?) I will say though that, not having seen Another Year, it deserves the screenplay award. This category would’ve been so much better if Toy Story 3 was nominated here instead of in the adapted category.

  13. Agree on all of the “Who Will WIn” except for documentary (Inside Job wins), but I couldn’t disagree more on almost all of your “Who Should Win”

    Haven’t seen all of the foreign/documentary/animated films so I can’t really voice disagreement there (but I find it hard to believe I would like The Illusionist more than TS3).

    The Kids Are All Right is easily the most overrated movie of the year and doesn’t earn the screenplay nom let alone the Best Picture. It is basically a Tyler Perry movie for white people, except it has lesbians in it so people think it’s edgy. The King’s Speech (and as much as I hate to admit it, The Fighter) is such a cliched script. The protagonist struggles with something, decides to do something unorthodox, there’s a montage scene or two, and then the protagonist ends up overcoming their goal. I know both of those are based on true stories, but Inception is the most original and complex screenplay of the bunch, and IMO it should definitely win.

    Weaver’s role is pretty much the exact same as Leo’s (tough mother), so it doesn’t make much sense to me that you say that one similar role will win and the other similar role should win. I liked all of these performances very much, but I think Steinfeld should win. As you said, she stole the movie from Bridges and Damon, but I guess the reason I think she should win is because she was on the screen for so much (should have been nominated for actress) and you got to see more of her character than you did the others.

    Haven’t seen Rabbit Hole so I guess I can’t really disagree your Kidman pick, but Michelle Williams’ performance is so real and believable that you forget she is acting and actually believe she is in her relationship. From the hotel scene to the abortion scene to the end scene in the hospital and at home, this was one of the best performances from an actress I’ve seen in quite some time.

    Again, haven’t seen Biutiful so I guess I can’t complain too much, but just no. Firth was far and away the best acting performance this year. On a side note, Gosling should have gotten a nom over Eisenberg, Bridges, or Bardem (but again, can’t really judge on Bardem since I haven’t seen Biutiful).

    I really don’t know how you separate the director from the movie, so I guess I would give it to Russell since The Fighter was my favorite and I didn’t like Black Swan very much.

    Like I said, I would give Best Picture to The Fighter, but I can’t complain about giving it to The King’s Speech.

  14. I think the best actor of the year is Leonardo DiCaprio and his performance in Shutter Island is undeniable.

  15. I very much liked this piece, probably because I learned a couple new aspects involved when forming a “longer term” perspective on a story.

    The Rocky vs Tax Driver flashback is the type of thing I hope more people take into account when deciding winners or bests of’s.

    I dont agree with many of the opinions on some of these picks but damned it if this isnt one of the more enjoyable reads on this boring subject (Oscars) Ive seen.

  16. I defiantly think Inception should win Original screenplay, even though I haven’t seen all the other one’s I defiantly think that Inception was very original and about the flat characters and plot holes; I don’t even know how you could say that the characters were flat I think that they did a terrific job. As for the plot holes allot of that you the audience are supposed to fill in, if you try to do to much explaining you just make more plot holes and start making less sens. And I think that Hans Zimmer should win should win Original Score, that guy creates some of the best cinematic music ever and Inception was no exception.:)

  17. If it wasn’t for Inception I probably couldn’t watch the Oscars. Still may not be able to.

  18. OH NO!

    I work during the oscars! :(

  19. I still wish “The Town” would’ve gotten more oscar nominations.

  20. i think the best animated movie should go to despicable me

    and i wish the book of eli had got a nom for something but sadly the academy will never recognize religious movies in their awards shows :(

  21. I still think after winning the DGA Hopper is likely to win best director. Not at all who I would pick. That would be Fincher. I know it has happened a couple of times but it’s pretty rare for a split. And I still am on The Social Network bandwagon for best picture.

  22. Like to see, “An Inconvienant Truth”, get the MilliVannlli treatment and taken back from that reptilion gore changling.

    Maybe one day.

    I predict Black Swan is going to sweep the awards this year.

  23. A quick thought:

    Citizen Kane, widely acknowledged as the greatest movie in history, did not win the Oscar for Best Picture. It was beat out by How Green Was My Valley. There have been all sorts of comparisons of that fight and the current one between King’s Speech and Social Network. The Social Network is being called this generation’s Citizen Kane, and The King’s Speech is being called this generation’s How Green Was My Valley. Obviously this year doesn’t have to follow that year, but the comparison is striking enough that I thought it should be mentioned. Will the timeless period piece again beat out the brilliant technological/business piece? I think yes, but maybe I’m wrong.

  24. How To Train…should definitely win over TS3. Great trilogy but they will win just because they’re Pixar and they shouldn’t. HTTYD was an amazing film period.

  25. Inception is genious! I can’t wait to see part II of the final Harry Potter too!