Yes, Sparky, it's time for the Annual "Peter B-Holy-Cannoli-How-Does-He-Know-That-Oscar Picks."
Are you excited? I knew you would be. Ready? We begin.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are: Amy Adams in "The Fighter;" Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech;" Melissa Leo in "The Fighter;" Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit;" and Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom." These girls are an experienced crew, with one newcomer, Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit."
If they left these things up to me, I would hand Helena Bonham Carter any award she's up for, no questions asked, but it is not to be. Until a few weeks ago, Melissa Leo was the prohibitive favorite as the boxing manager-slash-mother from hell in "The Fighter" — a gritty look at a family of typical Red Sox fans.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Oscars. Leo ran a series of ads in the trades pumping her nomination, which is not at all uncommon for agents and managers — but a little off-putting when the actress herself places the ads.
If there is a dark horse in this race, it's Steinfeld, the lovable, unstoppable and exceedingly cute tween who reprises Kim Darby's character, Mattie Ross, from the original John Wayne pic. But the negative buzz over Leo's self-promotion campaign has died down, which means the winner is Melissa Leo.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are: Christian Bale in "The Fighter;" John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone;" Jeremy Renner in "The Town;" Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right;" and Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech." Save your breath, save your energy, save your money. This one goes to Bale in "The Fighter," for his hair-raising portrayal of Dicky Eklund, a Southie who moves the bar for crack cocaine addicts to a new low.
The nominees for Best Actor are: Javier Bardem in "Biutiful;" Jeff Bridges in "True Grit;" Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network;" Colin Firth in "The King's Speech;" and James Franco in "127 Hours."