Tag Archives: The King’s Speech

10 “Incorrect” Best Picture Winners

The Oscars aren’t always right (to put it mildly). The best, most innovative movie does not always win Best Picture. So in light of last night’s events, here are ten classic examples (and one soon-to-be classic example) of Best Picture winners which, in hindsight, might not have been as deserving of the victory as certain other nominees. This is not to say that one film is better than the other, but that the non-winner is now generally viewed as the more enduring, influential film.

2010 – The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network

2005 – Crash vs. Brokeback Mountain

1998 – Shakespeare in Love vs. Saving Private Ryan

1994 – Forrest Gump vs. Pulp Fiction

1990 – Dances With Wolves vs. Goodfellas

1980 – Ordinary People vs. Raging Bull

1976 – Rocky vs. Taxi Driver

1971 – The French Connection vs. A Clockwork Orange

1951 – An American in Paris vs. A Streetcar Named Desire

1946 – The Best Years of Our Lives vs. It’s a Wonderful Life

1941 – How Green Was My Valley vs. Citizen Kane

And a few bonus “Sophie’s Choice” picks (in other words, both films are beloved, but only one could win)

2007 – No Country for Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood

1979 – Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Apocalypse Now

1977 – Annie Hall vs. Star Wars

1967 – In the Heat of the Night vs. The Graduate

1965 – The Sound of Music vs. Doctor Zhivago

1962 – Lawrence of Arabia vs. To Kill a Mockingbird

1939 – Gone With the Wind vs. The Wizard of Oz

2011 Oscar Post-Mortem

My predictions ended up with an iffy 14/24 accuracy. Not great, but adequate, I’d say. And am I disappointed that The Social Network lost to The King’s Speech? Yes, but it seems like my favourite movie of the year is always nominated, but never wins. But now to the telecast, which I thought, for the most part, was pretty enjoyable.

Highs

  • Anne Hathaway. She did a much better job hosting than I’d expected (here I was thinking that James Franco would be the one to liven things up…) Her boundless exuberance was just the remedy for a lagging, overly long ceremony (as the Oscars often are). She cheered, she sang, she poked fun at herself, and she had an endless array of gorgeous outfits.
  • The opening. Inception, The Social Network, True Grit, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan all received visits from Hathaway and Franco, and the cameos from Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman were nice touches.
  • The unending love for Hugh Jackman. He’s kind of become the new Jack Nicholson. He’s not nominated, he just sits there and smiles and has a good time. The presenters and winners seem happy to see him, and he becomes something of a touchstone for them to play off of.
  • James Franco’s grandma.
  • Kirk Dougals’ epic presentation for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Justin Timberlake’s riff on Kirk Douglas’ epic presentation.
  • Zachary Levi performing “I See the Light” from Tangled. Mandy Moore sounded great, too, but for someone who is not primarily a singer (I didn’t even know he could sing before Tangled), Levi came off as a total pro.
  • “That’s gross” – Cate Blanchett
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s presentation for Best Visual Effects. Can they just get married already?
  • No clapping during the “In Memoriam” segment. Good call.
  • Sandra Bullock’s presentation to the Best Actor nominees. It was the perfect balance of wit and respect.

Lows

  • The auto-tuned “Year of the movie musical” segment that they created. The Twilight one was kind of amusing, but the others were lazy and tedious.
  • The framing of certain categories with clips from classic movies. It felt a bit forced and random to me, and seemed to unnecessarily lengthen the telecast.
  • Melissa Leo’s speech. Sorry, but I didn’t find it charming. It was kind of annoying and fake, in my opinion. She rambled, and the f-bomb wasn’t interesting.
  • Kind of: James Franco. He had some pretty funny moments (the white unitard, the Marilyn Monroe getup), but he generally seemed out of step with the rest of the ceremony. I don’t think that he was as terrible as some people are saying, but perhaps not the ideal host.
  • The finale. I feel like a heartless bitch, but dragging all those 5th graders up on stage just seemed like the most contrived, obvious finish the show could have gone for.
  • This is kind of a random note, but I would have liked to see a broader scope in terms of the films that they celebrated. Not even in terms of the winners, but just which films got shown/mentioned throughout the broadcast. There were two lengthy montages for the Best Picture nominees, but scarcely a glimpse of any other 2010 films. I get that the show is about the nominees and winners, but the Oscars should also be about celebrating the film industry in general. What about non-winners like The Town, Tron: Legacy, Shutter Island, Easy A, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Kick-Ass, and Jack-Ass 3-D? They all found devoted fanbases and helped make 2010 the year that it was in film.

Best Speeches

  • Colin Firth (Best Actor, The King’s Speech). Always a class act. The wry humour was wonderful, and I love that he’s sang the praises of Tom Ford all season.
  • Natalie Portman (Best Actress, Black Swan). I liked that she thanked the behind-the-scenes people on set, as well as the people that helped her get where she is.
  • Lee Unkrich (Best Animated Picture, Toy Story 3). He gave a gracious, inspiring, economical, and eloquent speech.
  • Luke Matheny (Best Live Action Short Film, God of Love). Matheny probably never thought that his NYU school project would win an Oscar, and his surprise and exuberance was refreshingly sincere. It’s nice to see a “regular” person outside of the big Hollywood machine get recognition.

Best Red Carpet Fashion:

My 10 Most Anticipated Movies for the Rest of 2010

1. The Social Network (October 1)

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones

The trailer for this extremely topical film is perhaps the most beloved trailer since Where the Wild Things Are, and that has only helped to build my excitement for David Fincher’s latest project. I’m in love with The Social Network‘s cast, and it looks like a far weightier project than most people had initially thought. The subject matter is fascinating, and it’s refreshing to see a film tackle a current phenomenon seemingly without self-congratulation or premature nostalgia.

2. Somewhere (December 22)

Director: Sofia Coppola

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning

Somewhere looks to have a lot of similarities to Coppola’s directorial debut, Lost in Translation, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s hardly a negative. Also offering a wonderful trailer, Somewhere looks woozy and gorgeously shot. I’m already in love with the father/daughter pairing of Elle Fanning and Stephen Dorff.

3. Blue Valentine (December 31)

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel

It’s gotten raves out of Sundance and Cannes, and this drama starring two of today’s best young actors sounds harrowing. I’m excited for Ryan Gosling’s return to the big screen, and Michelle Williams is an actress that impresses me more with each project. Second Oscar nominations for the both of them?

4. Black Swan (December 1)

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey

The freaky trailer (have fun getting that final image out of your mind) for this movie has helped to build interest in director Darren Aronofsky’s latest project. It’s great to see Portman getting a meaty leading role, and the film looks wholly original. I think that any concerns about Aronofsky going soft can safely be put to rest.

5. The King’s Speech (December 24)

Director: Tom Hooper

Cast: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall

Colin Firth earned heaps of goodwill with A Single Man, and it doesn’t look like he’s putting it to waste at all. Details about this royal biopic are sparse, but with Firth in the lead and a great supporting cast to boot, I can’t help but be very excited.

6. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (September 24)

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Cast: Kier Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Zach Galifianakis

I loved the book, and the trailer for the film adaptation seemed surprisingly similar to how I imagined it would look. Directors Boden and Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar) are clearly taking a large step forward in terms of accessibility (though hopefully they’re not too far the other way), and I’m excited to see what they’ll do with this darkly comedic tale. Galifianakis’ performance also looks surprisingly nuanced and touching.

7. Never Let Me Go (September 15)

Director: Mark Romanek

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Sally Hawkins

Never Let Me Go seems to be wavering on the edge of Oscar-bait-prestige-project, but it looks beautiful. Once again, it offers a fantastic cast (you go, Andrew Garfield!). I’m in the middle of the book currently, and I’m intrigued to see how it will all play out on screen.

8. The Town (September 17)

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively

The formulaic trailer made me doubt my optimism, but then I remembered how the trailer for Gone Baby Gone did that film a complete disservice. Affleck has proven to be a very capable director, and the premise of this film seems strong. I’m also really excited to see Rebecca Hall and Jon Hamm work their magic.

9. 127 Hours (November 5)

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara

The concept for a movie about a trapped mountain climber didn’t seem especially interesting or fresh to me, but early buzz about this Boyle-directed project has apparently been very strong. James Franco is proving to be quite the renaissance man, and this could be just the meaty role that he needs to elevate his acting even further.

10. Howl (September 24)

Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Cast: James Franco, Mary-Louise Parker, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn, Aaron Tveit

The cast is to die for, and even though this Allen Ginsberg biopic received somewhat mixed reviews out of Sundance, its crisp trailer caught my eye. It has a great visual style, and seems to strive to truly capture the beat poetry movement. Between this and 127 Hours, it could be a huge breakout year for Franco.

Other Upcoming Releases of Interest:

Brighton Rock, Rabbit Hole, Love and Other Drugs, Buried, Nowhere Boy, The Fighter, What’s Wrong With Virginia?, The American