Sunday, January 30, 2011


This weekend two big movie award ceremonies were held. One was the Director's Guild Awards and the other was the Screen Actor's Guild Awards. And the outcome of them has sent the blogging world into a frenzy analyzing what it all means. Why? Because THE KING'S SPEECH won both.

Now a film that garners 12 Oscar nominations and figured on over 50 major critic's 10 best lists should not be that much of a surprise anywhere it does well. But because the pundits widely figured that David Fincher, the director of THE SOCIAL NETWORK, would handily win the DGA and didn't, losing it to Tom Hooper who directed THE KING'S SPEECH, they seem to be already handing the best director Oscar to Hooper as well. And because the cast of THE SOCIAL NETWORK did not triumph over the actors in THE KING'S SPEECH, some prognosticators are saying the Oscar race is over and it's going to be a sweep for the film from across the pond. I say, not so fast.

Sure, these two award shows are often harbingers of things to come, but how about the almost 50 best picture wins for THE SOCIAL NETWORK handed out by film critics in December? Doesn't that have some weight too? Especially since THE KING'S SPEECH won virtually none? Or what of the four Golden Globes that THE SOCIAL NETWORK won just two weeks ago? At that time, because of all those accolades for the Fincher film, the sure bet was the Facebook film. But not now? My my my, how fickle the Hollywood pundit community is. And worse, the surprising showing of THE KING'S SPEECH has let loose a rage that would suggest that THE KING'S SPEECH is an unworthy Lifetime TV movie that has no place being in the race. Well, that's nuts. 

Truth be told, I think THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the better film. But THE KING'S SPEECH was terrific too. In no way is it unworthy of the merit it's now getting. It's a clever, moving and beautifully written. Its production values are top notch. And it's got three standout performances of the year in Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

All 10 Oscar nominees for best picture this year are quite good. Not a dog in the bunch. Hard to believe that once the Oscars would nominate a film like DOCTOR DOLITTLE alongside other 1967 best picture nominees BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE GRADUATE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. Nothing that embarrassing or wildly out of place this year.

So THE SOCIAL NETWORK may still prevail. You never know how the Oscars will go. They are their own beast. And one that surprises again and again. Only at the Oscars could CRASH beat foregone conclusion BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Only the Oscars would have no trouble honoring the controversial Roman Polanski with a best director Oscar for THE PIANIST. Trying to predict the Oscars is always tough. And nothing is ever a sure thing. Just ask Lauren Bacall.

But no matter what happens with the Oscars, THE KING'S SPEECH should not be knocked. It may not be as good as THE SOCIAL NETWORK to most. Or as timely or as "of the moment" as THE SOCIAL NETWORK is, but in no way is it unworthy. All the overreaching put-downs of it by Oscar predictors and pundits are.


  1. I must admit, though I haven't seen the King's Speech, of the others I've seen, I still think Aranafsky takes best director.

    Still happy to see Winter's Bone rubbing shoulders among such giants. That was probably my favorite sleeper this past year.

  2. I saw King's Speech and it was fantastic. I think that the reason the wins at the DGA and SAG are a bigger deal for the movie's chances at Best Picture are because the voters for those awards have Oscar votes, whereas the Golden Globe and critic associations don't vote on the Oscars.

    Right now, has King's Speech as the favorite (4 to 11 odds) with Social Network in second (2 to 1 odds).

  3. From most corners of Hollywood, including most of those far more in the know than me, it looks like Academy members are really, really, really enthusiastic about THE KING'S SPEECH. They're standing and applauding it at the end, so that emotional connection probably bodes well for an inevitable best picture victory at the Oscars in a couple of weeks.