I look back at 2010 as a so-so year for movies, and yet when I look at the nominations, I think, "Wow. That one was great. Or such a superb performance. Or I could watch that one again." So, I think 2010 was a good year for a small number of really fine films. It was "eh!" for the medium grade - entertaining and worth your money, but not awesome. There's been a whole lot of crap made and I think films are being cranked out to fill the DVD and instant viewing pipeline. With that said, let me give an opinion on key categories.
Best Picture: All worthy contenders. I think The King's Speech will win - it fits the Oscar sensibility. Well filmed, well acted, and British accents. As far as innovation - Inception or Black Swan should take the statue. And for sheer joy to watch again and again - Toy Story 3.
Best Actor: Colin Firth, hands down. Jeff Bridges won last year and gets better and better. Jesse and James - young brilliant actors who shall build great careers. Javier - sorry, didn't see you. But I bet you were good.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman has grown through the years and I think she was excellent in her ballerina breakdown. I give her the statue, but I'm fine if Annette Bening wins. She's so dynamic on the screen.
Best Supporting Actress: This is so tough. Melissa Leo started out ahead, but I think Hailee Steinfeld might just pull the final punch. I'd award the whole lot of 'em. (Jacki Weaver is a surprise gem in a wee Aussie film - whew!)
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale went full tilt into his role and came up a winner. But Geoffrey Rush could ride that King's Speech momentum and he was awfully key to Colin's performance.
Best Director - David Fincher - Social Network. The old split the award from picture trick and I think that's okay. We'll see.
Best Original Screenplay - either King's Speech or Inception (that was darn good creative writing)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin knocked it out with Social Network. This movie captures 2010 with his language and pacing.
Just working on this post makes me want to re-watch these movies and performances. Hollywood is still alive and brings magic to the darkness.