And the Oscar goes to ... Will 'The King's Speech' edge out 'The Social Network' for best picture?

By David Germain

The Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 24 2011 5:00 p.m. MST

That upset could come from Steinfeld, whose only professional experience had been some student films before landing the role in "True Grit" as a teen who hits the trail with a boozy old lawman to hunt down her father's killer.

The supporting-actress category has been good to child actors (winners include 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal for "Paper Moon" and 11-year-old Anna Paquin for "The Piano"). And while Steinfeld's a newcomer, she already is learning the art of Oscar humility that can help endear a nominee to voters.

"Being cast in such an incredible film to me was a big enough award," Steinfeld said.

The main suspense comes at the end of Sunday's show. Can "The Social Network" make good on its early reception as the year's critical darling and win best picture over "The King's Speech," which steamrolled its way through directors, actors and producers guild honors late in the awards season?

With 12 nominations, "The King's Speech" goes into the Oscars as the top contender.

"The movie is as good as it is because it's a jigsaw of so many people's talents, and most of them have been nominated, so it's fantastic," said Helena Bonham Carter, a supporting-actress nominee as the monarch's devoted queen in "The King's Speech."

If "The King's Speech" is the classic, sumptuous Oscar candidate, "The Social Network" is the snarky upstart. Starring best-actor nominee Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the film presents a haughty, unlikable computer genius in a world of back-stabbing dot-com opportunists.

That has not kept audiences or awards voters from embracing the film, which has had a triumphant ride through Oscar season.

"It's been very nice," Eisenberg said. "I guess the alternative is worse, where no one likes your movie. I've experienced that, and this is better."

If you watch:

What: 83rd Annual Academy Awards

When: Sunday, 6 p.m.

Channel: ABC-Ch. 4

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