The Best Actress contest is between Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right and Natalie Portman for Black Swan. I think that Bening’s got a slight lead in that race. I’d give the Best Supporting Actress statue to Hailee Steinfeld for her performance in True Grit, and I don’t think that there’s any competition in the Supporting Actor category for Christian Bale, who delivered a knockout performance in The Fighter.
The Best Director category this year is crazy good, and full of interesting, original, visionary directors (although, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Christopher Nolan got snubbed). Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter) and Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit) are all longtime indie directors, and all terrific. David Fincher (The Social Network) has never fit the commercial Hollywood mold, and has maintained his artistic independence while working on big-budget studio movies. Fincher has long been one of my favorite directors, and I think that he’ll take the award home for Best Director, even if his movie otherwise gets snubbed.