"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Monday, January 31, 2011

The King's Speech heads towards a sweep

The Director's Guild Winners

Best Feature Film: Tom Hooper for The King's Speech
Best Documentary: Charles Ferguson for Inside Job

The Screen Actor's Guild Winners

Female Actor in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Male Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth for The King's Speech
Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale for The Fighter
Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture: The King's Speech
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Inception

And there it is. The final nail in the coffin.  The King's Speech won big over this past weekend taking the DGA for Tom Hooper and the SAG for Colin Firth and an ensemble win for its cast.  I'm sure that the film is great and worthy of its accolades but I just don't get it.  In a film year that contains amazing work like The Social Network, Inception and Black Swan, how can The King's Speech take it all?  The evidence is becoming pretty hard to ignore.  Until early January, The Social Network was sweeping the critics awards with Inception putting in a respectable performance for the technical awards and The Fighter cleaning up on the supporting actors awards.  I was fine with that.

But since then, The King's Speech has quietly sneaked up all stolen all their thunder.  It doesn't hurt that the film's producer is Harvey Weinstein who is known for pulling off movie upsets like this with wins for Shakespeare in Love and Chicago.  It's true, sometimes the Best Picture of the year doesn't win the Oscar.  Oscar history is littered with films that didn't win the big one but since it seemed that in the past two years, the Academy has been daring and correct in awarding the right awards like Kathryn Bigelow making history by being the first woman director for The Hurt Locker or Geoffrey Fletcher as the first African-American screenwriter for Precious or Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture when part the movie was spoken in Hindi and the cast was completely non-American.  Therefore, it baffles my mind to see a step back for the Academy back to their safe ways of voting.  Of course, no awards have yet been handed out but they might as well be.  It is still long way off until February 27th and I, for one, will stubbornly continue to hope for The Social Network and Inception to make it after all.  A stupid gamble but one that I'm still willing to make.

ETA: That was the end of my piece.  But I read this article, The Reasons Why the Oscar Race is already Over, in Time by Richard Corliss and he sums up exactly what I'm feeling at this moment, I want to share it and his words with you.  

What's the matter, then, with The Social Network? Its pace is snappier, its IQ way higher, its ambitions greater, its subject more modern. It also believes there's no crying in a Facebook film. It doesn't give the audience a strong hero to root for. These are all attributes, not liabilities, in this movie — but not in a movie that wins Best Picture. The Social Network's Mark Zuckerberg might earn the envy of viewers, but Firth's George VI wins their sympathy. Like a lot of moviegoers, the Academy members go for heart over head, warm over cool. And in the race for the ultimate Oscar, given the choice of a film they respect and one they love, they'll take love every time.

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