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So far no one has asked me to join The Academy in voting on who should win the Oscars. Nevertheless, I have my opinions, and I’d like to hear yours too. So here are my thoughts on some of the big categories:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jesse Eisenberg played the brilliant, self-absorbed father of Facebook perfectly in The Social Network, and Jeff Bridges is stellar as the grizzled U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Still and all, Colin Firth is triumphant in The King’s Speech, and his entire body of work should be rewarded this year.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Many experienced actresses have been nominated in this category, and I suspect the award will go to one of them. However, young newcomer Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful in Winter’s Bone. She masterfully exhibited grit, fear, desperation, and determination as a teenage girl searching for the deadbeat father who put the family home up as bond, then disappeared.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: I might have cast a vote toward Bill Murray or Bill Cobbs for their scene-stealing work in Get Low, but they weren’t nominated. So my choice in this category is John Hawkes, who plays young Ree’s uncle Teardrop in Winter’s Bone. His performance is nuanced, managing to be both sinister and sympathetic as just one player in the darkly patriarchal, meth-centered lives of these characters.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Again I’m gunning for the young newcomer. Hailee Stanfeld was spectacular as the precocious young teen who hires Marshall Rooster Cogburn to find the man who killed her father. She is tough and smart, and still maintains an innocence that informs the darker motives and histories of the men who populate the lawless land of the Old West.

Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragonwas lots of fun, but there’s no denying that Pixar is one studio to rule them all. Toy Story 3 takes my vote.

Directing:The award for best director will likely go to David Fincher for The Social Network, but I’d opt for Tom Hooper’s direction of The King’s Speech. He turns a story of a stuttering royal into a humorous, heartfelt, even suspenseful film about a man we can all relate to—someone who faces a job he neither wants nor feels capable of accomplishing.

Best Picture:Another award that will probably go to The Social Network. But I soldier on in favor of The King’s Speech.

So there you have it, the wishes of a non-Academy movie watcher. What movies will you root for on the big night?

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