This year’s Oscars are, as always, hotly contested, so we find out what predictions our TFR staffers are making for this weekend’s big reveal.

Jon: Winter’s Bone
Possibly the least likely to win, but this movie has some special Ozark magic and myth. Besides if Mark Kermode reckons we should all go and see it, who are we to argue.

El: Black Swan
Natalie Portman at her best, with a great supporting cast and brilliant direction – what’s not to love?! Even Portman’s gammy toe shots couldn’t put me off this film.

Fiona: Black Swan
This is pretty easy for me. The film was everything I hoped for and more. I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen: the acting was incredible, the story was terrifying, intense and exhilarating and at no point was I sure of what would happen.

Chris: The Social Network
I can’t really choose anything that isn’t this film, having watched it twice the week I bought it on DVD. I’ll probably watch it again before the month ends. It’s the perfect example of the web generation’s influence on film, and the performances are absolutely brilliant.

Jon: Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Hooper has demonstrated he’s a master of British craftsmanship. The King’s Speech might not be a cutting edge piece of work, but the movie exhibits an attention to detail worthy of Thomas Chippendale.

El: Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Another mind-blowing film from this director. It’s ambitious throughout, and that certainly pays off.

Fiona: Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Aronofsky is a genius. To create a film with the twists and turns like this and to still keep the audience with you throughout is a great skill. He takes us right to the core of Nina’s neurosis, leaving us uncomfortable and completely with her as she comes undone.

Chris: David Fincher – The Social Network
I think he really brought performances out of the people working with him that felt absolutely spot on. Not to mention his clever mixing-up of visual effects for the Winkelvoss twins.

Jon: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Whether it’s as Regency heartthrob Darcy, Old Master Vermeer or in any other of his roles, it’s about time Firth won an Oscar. Especially after last year’s disappointment. He’s also rather splendid in this film.

El: Javier Bardem – Biutiful
Painfully truthful and touching, Bardem’s performance is thoroughly captivating. And Spanish. Lovely and Spanish.

Fiona: Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
He is isn’t your average Hollywood star looks-wise and film-choice-wise but boy can he act. His intense performance throughout is incredible and entirely convincing. In fact he did such a good job that it’s hard to tell where Mark Zuckerberg ends and he starts.

Chris: Jessie Eisenberg – The Social Network
I bet you can’t guess why I’d pick him, right? Well, because he made the youngest billionaire in history simultaneously personify both ends of the moral compass, the frayed edges of someone balancing friendship with business.

Jon: Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Despite playing a mom with a touch of the control freak about her, Bening remains sympathetic, humorous and distinctly human. She shines as a very uncommon corner of a bizarre love triangle (or pentagon).

El: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Less annoying than she was in Garden State, less bald than she was in V for Vendetta… Portman at her best? Quite possibly.

Fiona: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
I’ve always loved Natalie and knew she could act since Leon but this really is something else. The film wouldn’t be what it was without her. Her dedication, passion and subtlety make her compelling to watch.

Chris: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
I’m a huge fan of Darren Aronofsky, and Black Swan really did emphasise what a lot of people already know – Natalie Portman can act, really well. In an additional bonus, she’s chosen ballet over marrying Darth Vader this time, so good for her.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
The TFR 2011 Oscars Round-Table, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating