At Sunday night’s 83rd Academy Awards, “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” will compete for the best picture Oscar, which will be the last of 24 to be presented. Though “The King’s Speech” is the clear favorite to win, there are still a few reasons to believe that “The Social Network” could pull off an upset, so it will be a nerve-wracking night for a lot of us who feel we have something riding on the outcome. There may, however, be a semi-reliable way to gauge the likely outcome earlier in the evening.
In addition to best picture, “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” will also be competing against each in six other categories that will be presented first: best director, best actor, best cinematography, best film editing, best original score, and best sound mixing. There’s no guarantee that one or the other will win in each of those categories, or that, if that happens, those wins will in any way correspond with the winner of the best picture category (which is the only one determined by a preferential balloting system), but it might offer us some early clues about how passionately voters feel — or don’t feel — about each of the films.
Here’s a quick primer for those six categories…
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