When my wife and I met in college(!), she wrote in a dorm survey that her perfect date was a night of "old movies and dumb jokes." Anyone who knows me knows that I don't know any clever jokes, so I was in 50% from the get-go. Our relationship developed watching old movies together.
Eventually, we graduated from silents to talkies from talkies to the golden age and the golden age to independents. But throughout our movie journey, we tried to make sure we saw the Oscar-nominated movies.
The first year I remember consciously trying to see all of the Best Picture nominees was 1996, when Shine was hard enough to see in the local theater, but Secrets and Lies took some actual work. That particular year in movies, which included Fargo, The English Patient, and Jerry Maguire, had enough of an impact on me that from then on I wanted to see all of the Oscar nominees every year.
We were able to see all of the Best Picture nominees again in 1997, 2000, and 2004, but most years we were only able to see 3 or 4 of the Best Picture nominees before the ceremony (after the ceremony, I have been able to complete the set in 1987-1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2002, and 2005, and yes, that does take a while to look up and yes this is a long parenthetical). Then the academy let the floodgates open.
The 2009 awards opened the competition up to 10 Best Picture nominees. What?! We actually scrambled last year to try to see all of those, but alas, the life of a busy (Realtor, parent, fill-in-the-blank) got the better of us. We saw 9 of the nominees (still haven't seen A Serious Man).
This year, same thing: 9 out of 10. With 127 Hours out of the theaters by the time of the nominations and not yet out on DVD, to paraphrase Annette Bening from The American President, "We got screwed!" We toyed with the idea of illegally downloading the thing, but c'mon that would be a bit over the top don't you think?
Without further ado, and considering that, while we have seen lots of movies, we can never quite get the hang of how the academy votes, here's who my wife and I think will win in the major categories and our favorites:
Best Picture: We agree on the winner King's Speech, but Veronica's favorite is The Fighter and my favorite is Inception.
Best Actor: We again agree on the winner, Colin Firth (King's Speech), but our favorite was Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network).
Best Actress: Winner and our favorite, Natalie Portman (Black Swan).
Best Supporting Actor: Winner and our favorite, Christian Bale (The Fighter).
Best Supporting Actress: My winner and our favorite, Amy Adams (The Fighter). Veronica thinks Melissa Leo from The Fighter will win.
P.S. If you haven't seen any of these movies and are wondering what to see of the ones still at the theaters, I would try to catch True Grit, which is going to be a lot better on a big screen than at home.