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February 25, 2011 > Who will win at the Oscars?

Who will win at the Oscars?

By Mona Shah

As with any competition that declares a winner by majority vote, the Oscars are inherently subjective. There are always beautiful performances and excellent work that goes unnoticed. Every year numerous retrospective articles recount famous Oscar snubs. Hard to predict, many times the most deserving person or film in each category, goes home empty handed.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) uses proportional voting (also known as a preferential system) for the selection of Oscar nominees. Under the AMPAS nominating system, approximately 5,500 Academy members receive their ballots in December. Each AMPAS member is allowed to vote as many as five times in their occupational category. Votes are listed in declining preference, from the voter's first choice through the fifth. To determine nominations, votes are counted according to the level of preference.

PricewaterhouseCoopers manually tabulates responses according to Academy rules. Each year, it takes approximately 1,700 "person-hours" to count and verify the ballots by hand. It takes seven days to count the ballots for nominations and three days to count the ballots for winners.

The Oscars air live Sunday, February 27, on ABC at 5 p.m.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2009 Oscar winner Mo'Nique announced nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards. Although Academy members have the last word, our Arts & Entertainment Editor Picks for six of this year's winners are shown following the listing of nominees for each category. Vote for your favorite nominee below and see how well you can guess the outcome.

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
James Franco in "127 Hours"

Editor Pick: Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
Under-the-radar contenders could pull off a last-minute upset, but this race has been Colin Firth's from the get-go and after winning the Critics' Choice, the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, there is no stopping him.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in "The Fighter"
John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner in "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Editor's Pick: John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"
Hawke's performs with an unsettling rage that simmers below the surface of his Ozark slumlord. He is always in control, which serves to make his character the most powerful of all the nominees.

Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine"

Editor's Pick: Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"
Portman is stunning as the troubled ballerina Nina and committed herself to the role, staying below 100 pounds for the duration of the shoot and doing most of her own dancing.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom"

Editor's Pick: Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Not many major actors can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon and steal all of the attention. However, Steinfeld does just that in True Grit.


"Black Swan" Darren Aronofsky
"The Fighter" David O. Russell
"The King's Speech" Tom Hooper
"The Social Network" David Fincher
"True Grit" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Editor's Pick: "Black Swan" Darren Aronofsky
It is rare that a director gets recognition for his finest work. Black Swan is the biggest film Aronofsky has made to date, making a film about ballet an instant classic. In no other film this year has the Director's influence been more obvious and outstanding then in Black Swan.

Best Picture

"Black Swan" Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
"The Fighter" David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
"Inception" Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
"The Kids Are All Right" Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
"The King's Speech" Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
"127 Hours" Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
"The Social Network" Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
"Toy Story 3" Darla K. Anderson, Producer
"True Grit" Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Editor's Pick: "The King's Speech" Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
This British period piece, featuring Firth's moving portrayal of George VI's battle to beat his stammer, has dethroned the Facebook frontrunner.

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