Growing up, I was always part of a “movie family.” You know, those families that make seeing a movie an event, with popcorn, the latest feature film, serious critiques post-show, and repeat the whole process about two days later? So the Oscars, Globes, and Spirit awards have always been part of my February routine.

Unlike last year, I have seen most of the films up for nominations this year (see a complete list here. I’ve always been an opinionated moviegoer, so I thought I would share some of my top picks in honor of awards season.

The following represent categories I feel most strongly about:

Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan Call me Natalie’s biggest fan, no really, call me her biggest fan because I love her work. I watched Black Swan with mix feelings. Some people told me they loved it, some people were disappointed, and others were left feeling confused by the ballet drama. I LOVED it. I think most of that has to do with my dance background, being blinded by glitzy costumes and my other love Vincent Cassel, but the story was poetic in a twisted way and it would have been nothing without a stellar leading lady.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter I’m not quite sure why Christian Bale hasn’t received the recognition he has deserved long before this film, but I am delighted that the Academy has finally realized he has some serious talent. I was mesmerized by his entire performance in The Fighter, and after reading reviews of people within the town saying they were even shocked, I couldn’t help but love his performance that much more. Simply said, I just think he deserves it.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech The last ten minutes of the film were enough to give it this year’s top award. The cast as a whole was brilliant. The scenes were beautiful. And yes, some people complain that it was dry in some spots, but that’s British film, and we can’t knock them for their tried and true formula for film-making. Basically, everything just worked. The powerful tale of someone overcoming a life-long struggle always has the power to pull at our heartstrings, but overall this is just one of those films where people will look back and say, “Wow.”

Lastly, I would like to say that if people took animated films more seriously, I truly believe that Toy Story 3 would have a shot at winning Best Picture. It brought the light-hearted joy of the other two films, and it also touched upon the popular “coming of age” genre that so many people love. I grew up being Andy’s age, and to watch the film as an adult, I felt all of the emotion of losing my childhood attachments. Congrats Toy Story 3 on being the perfect ending to the best childhood trilogy.

Stephanie Poquette Assistant Publicist