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Poll: Can Helena Bonham Carter pull off an Oscar upset?

February 17, 2011 |  8:35 am

Kings speech 38

"'The King’s Speech' is an Oscar favorite, and depending how strong it is, the Brit drama could carry some awards on its coattails," warns Anne Thompson of Indiewire. "While 'Inception,' 'The Social Network,' 'True Grit' and 'Alice in Wonderland' could steal some wins from 'The King’s Speech' in the technical categories, recent BAFTA winner Helena Bonham Carter could score a supporting actress nod — in a wide open field including 'The Fighter's' dueling Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, 'True Grit's' young newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and 'Animal Kingdom's' 48-year Australian veteran Jacki Weaver — for her high-brow yet low-key performance as the future Queen Mum in 'The King's Speech.'"

Thompson just changed her prediction to Bonham Carter from Steinfeld after Bonham Carter won BAFTA last Sunday night. (Watch a video of her hilarious acceptance speech here.) Maybe she won because competition was light: Steinfeld and Leo weren't nominated in that category. Or because voters who decide the British Oscars just got carried away bowing to a pic about British royalty. But it's also possible that Bonham Carter's victory was a foretelling of an Oscar upset ahead. Ever since 2000, when BAFTA moved up on the calendar to jump ahead of the Oscars, it's failed to predict the Oscar champ in this category only twice: Julie Walters ("Billy Elliot") won BAFTA in 2000 when eventual Oscar champ Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock") wasn't nominated and Thandie Newton ("Crash") won when Oscar champ Rachel Weisz ("Constant Gardener") wasn't in the running. That means BAFTA correctly predicted Oscar upsets like Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton").

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "The King's Speech" Credit: Weinstein Co.