The 83rd Annual Academy Awards airs live Sunday night begining at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and CTV. I’ll be like snarking on the annual Oscar deal over at Twitter. Follow me @BillBriouxTV. Let the 140 characters or less hilarity begin.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway host this year’s Oscarfest, a departure from the usual stand up comedian approach. Franco and Hathaway are both easy on the eyes and like Hugh Jackman a few years ago will likely benefit from reduced expectations when it comes to comedy chops. Look for them to step up and make with the laffs. Rumor has them opening Sunday’s show with a Billy Crystal-like opener featuring the duo jumping in and out of clips from nominated films. There’s also a suggestion that Crystal himself will show up at the three-quarter mark and add some shtick to the event. Sadly, no Ricky Gervais sighting has been reported, although he did offer some unsolicited tips to the new hosts on his web site.
Oscar time means parties and office pools. Here’s a head start, TVFMF’s annual fearless forecast. Wager at your own risk and remember–the more films you actually saw, the less likely you will get this thing right:

Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone
Inception was cool but confused the hell out of me and probably had Academy fogies scurrying into the lobby as fast as their walkers would allow. I saw The Kids Are All Right on the back of an Air Canada headrest.It was like a long, really dull episode of Brothers & Sisters with the most tacked on ending since Lost. 127 Hours is about a guy who chews off his arm—which is what I wanted to do sitting through The Kids Are All Right. Toy Story 3 was great fun but Best Picture? These extra nominations have gone to absurdity and beyond. True Grit was a great movie, just two hours of pure escape, but the Coen brothers and Bridges are not going to win again for a cowboy remake. Winter’s Bone sounds like a Canadian porn movie.
It comes down to Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech and The Social Network. Eliminate The Fighter, Academy voters will think it’s The Wrestler and wonder why they’re being asked to vote for it again. Black Swan is about ballet, come on. The Social Network was interesting but the Academy is not going to “like” a Facebook flick, those bastards are cannibalizing their customers by keeping them out of the cineplexes. That leaves The King’s Speech, which is a historical film (100 points) about a real English King (200 points) who has to overcome an affliction (350 points). The film is crammed with English actors (1000 points). It has more nominations (12) than any other film (100 points). There’s a Royal wedding this summer (a million points). So even though these points are just made up and don’t mean anything, The King’s Speech is a lock.

Best Actor: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jess Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco.
Franco may make a disarming host, but he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Bardem is so good in Biutiful you just want to commit suicide immediately following this movie—which will cut down on votes. Bridges is awesome as Rooster Cogburn but John Wayne already won an Oscar for this role so who the hell does Jeff Bridges think he is? Jesse Eisenberg is so good playing a prick nobody will want to vote for him. Firth stutters throughout The King’s Speech—Oscar gold.

Best Actress: Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams.
Benning should get an Oscar for not getting a face lift but not for this sitcom. Kidman can no longer move her face so no Oscar for you. Jennifer Lawrence? Is she the one that was on Friends? Michelle Williams I hear was pretty good in that movie I’ll never see and nobody in the Academy saw. That leaves Portman who is really pregnant and plays a total looney toon in that dance flick. Oscar double gold.

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