2011 Oscars Challenge: The King’s Speech

After seeing “The Social Network” and hearing all its (“apparent”) accolades, I was looking for a hopeful Oscar-worthy film to rally behind. One of the next films I saw was “The King’s Speech” and, walking out, I found my dark horse to win the show.

Now, before I go further, do I completely want “The King’s Speech” to win Best Picture? Not entirely. But my favorite films of the year have all but been displaced from winning. “True Grit” and “Inception” top my list of films that I would be completely happy with winning the Oscar for Best Picture, but since it has all bee nailed as “The Social Network” versus “The King’s Speech”, I have to choose for one. “The King’s Speech” appears to be the more attractive piece.


“The King’s Speech” came in with a rocking twelve nominations. That is a lot of things to watch a film for. It is also a lot for an Academy to think highly of in just one film (remember, some films only get one nomination). The good news, this almost locks “The King’s Speech” as an easy winner for the big award, especially being placed in the big awards that, if its wins, guarantees a Best Picture win. The bad news, if it loses, it loses in a lot of categories.

Many people are running the risk. They see “The King’s Speech” winning Best Picture and, therefore, throws all their votes into that ship. The problem is, if that ship goes down, there go your votes. I believe that if people really believed “Social Network” and “King’s Speech” were equally the best films of the year, the votes will be split.


Three acting nominations have to make people appreciate the film. Colin Firth won Best Actor at the Golden Globes and is a favorite to win at the Oscars (my pick). Geoffrey Rush is also a favorite in the Supporting Actor category, but due to his previous Oscar win and my personal opinion, Christian Bale will be my pick in this category. If Rush wins, I will be completely happy because Rush is a favorite of mine as well. The only acting nom the film is not a favorite for is Helena Bonham Carter’s. She is a great part of the film, but it appears that everyone in the category is more of a favorite than she is.

The film is a period piece, so the writing, costume, and art direction are all important. I believe the film will rank high on all three lists. My Best Original Screenplay vote is split between “Inception” and “King’s Speech”. I take “Inception” as the better screenplay, but I believe the “ship” rule where if “King’s Speech” is to win Best Picture, it must take some big awards. Art Direction is also split between two films. The Academy appears to adore films like “Alice in Wonderland”. But again, if “King’s Speech” is the Best film of the year, shouldn’t it also have the Best Art Direction? Same going for the Costume Design?


Tom Hooper is the ultimate favorite walking into the Oscars with his Best Directing award. He won at the DGA’s and, I have heard they choose the Oscar winner 90% of the time. I cannot disagree that Hooper deserves it and, besides my deep passion for David Fincher, Hooper probably takes this award.

The cinematography in “King’s Speech” is out-of-this-world, this coming from a period piece. The film has such a distinct cinematography that it is hard not to consider this a shoe-in. “Inception” and “Black Swan” are also exemplary of these aspects, but I believe “King’s Speech” more so. The askew cameras and placement of characters in the frame have a character of their own.

Sound Mixing, Film Editing, and Original Score appear to be added on awards that I do not see “King’s Speech” walking away with. I was even surprised to see the score nomination in place, as the film is not very “score” heavy. The Sound Mixing is factory done and there are no complaints in this department, but I believe there are films more worthy of this award. Film Editing should go to “Social Network” if we are comparing the giants coming into the Oscars and in that category, “Network”.


In my estimation, I see “King’s Speech” winning about seven (possibly eight) of its twelve nominations. Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Leading Actor are almost a lock. To support that, I guess I will have to go ahead and say Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Screenplay will also be theirs. Best Supporting Male could easily be theirs despite my devotion to Christian Bale’s performance in the “The Fighter”. Best Film Editing had better go to “Social Network”. Best Original Score and Best Sound Mixing should probably go to more noteworthy films in these areas. And there is no chance the film takes Best Supporting Actress.

With all that said, I found my film to root for and even if I am completely on the wrong track and “Social Network” proves victorious, I will at least be happy for David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin. Otherwise, I guess I have declared with ship I am going down with regardless.

(14 OF 41 FILMS REMAINING)-(6 DAYS TO OSCARS)


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