It happened almost overnight. After being on more top ten lists than any other film of the year, plus the double win of Best Picture and Best Director at the Critic’s Choice Awards and Golden Globes, The Social Network was the Academy Award front-runner for the top prizes.
But then the nominations came out, and The King’s Speech lead the pack with 12 nods. Followed by True Grit, then The Social Network.
Then the DGA awards this Saturday gave its Best Director prize to Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. Then SAG Awards on Sunday gave Best Ensemble to The King’s Speech cast.
Now, it’s The King’s Speech to lose. And with ballots being mailed as I write this, it’s looking practically inevitable. How did this come to pass? I have a guess, but it is just that: a guess. I’m thinking this is a three-way vote split and The King’s Speech lovers are pulling ahead. There’s a split between True Grit and The Social Network, and The King’s Speech, which has zero controversy attached to it, has been anointed the safer more traditional pick.
Do I think The Social Network is a better film? Yep. But I also like True Grit and Inception more than The Social Network. In fact, I’d rank Inside Job, Toy Story 3, The Pat Tillman Story higher. My favorite performance of the year is James Franco in 127 Hours.
The same four actors (Firth, Portman, Bale and Leo) have won literally all the major contests, pre-Oscar. I think three of those four will take home the golden bald guy. I predict Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit will shock early in the night