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It's Good to Be 'King': First-Round Oscar Picks

"The King's Speech," left; Danny Boyle on "127 Hours" set; Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"


Here are my first-stab Oscar predictions for GoldDerby.com's experts panel (alongside Michael Musto, Kevin Polowy, Keith Simanton, Anne Thompson and Susan Wloszczyna). I think I'm the first blogger who posted the words "King's Speech Oscar" at Telluride, but the more sources I consulted, the more I swapped it back and forth with The Social Network. I felt like Henry James, who said in political discussions, he was always of the opinion of the last speaker. But the King rules, and that's my final word! Until tomorrow.

Like everybody else, I'm betting on a rooster in a poke with the unknowable Coen brothers movie True Grit. The Fighter's magisterially marketed premiere made me favor it over Black Swan, whose fans were equally verklempt at Telluride. After Thursday's AFI premiere, they're doing frantic fouettes fast enough to corkscrew through to the center of the Earth, punching a Fighter fan at every turn. The two movies could incite fights on a million movie dates, which would be scarier than Winona Ryder in Black Swan -- and let me tell you, that's scary. 

Best Picture:

1. The King's Speech

2. The Social Network

3. 127 Hours

4. Inception

5. True Grit

6. The Fighter

7. Black Swan

8. Toy Story 3

9. The Kids Are All Right

10. Rabbit Hole


Best Director:

1. Danny Boyle

2. Tom Hooper

3. David Fincher

4. Joel and Ethan Coen

5. Christopher Nolan


Best Actor:

1. Colin Firth

2. James Franco

3. Jesse Eisenberg

4. Robert Duvall

5. Jeff Bridges


Best Actress:

1. Annette Bening

2. Natalie Portman

3. Jennifer Lawrence

4. Lesley Manville

5. Nicole Kidman