Saturday, January 22, 2011

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Long Live the King

The PGA announced their winner this evening, and if you follow any Oscar pundits on Twitter, then you know that everyone was a-twitter (a-ha) about the results. Why?

The Social Network won the Golden Globes for Best Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Score. It won the Critics Choice Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It's won more regional awards than any film in history (possibly because there are more regional awards now than ever before). It won LAFCA, National Board of Review, NYCC, etc., etc., etc. It's the favorite to win at the Oscars (though I've been telling my friends The Fighter BECAUSE I'M CRAZY).

But now the industry has actually started to chime in. And the PGA Award for Best Picture of the Year goes to....


We won whaaaat?
Shock. Awe. And some bizarre foaming at the mouth. People who claimed to really admire The King's Speech and were surprised that it was a genuinely great film as opposed to just "Oscar bait",  are now back to slinging mud. It's right back to being an old farts' film, to being "an embarrassment", to reflecting how passe the tastes of the industry are. And all I can say is, "Come the FUCK on."

You know what? I think The Social Network is a better film. I really do. But I'm not going to suddenly hate on The King's Speech because it took away that film's shot at winning 1115 awards (now it's only 1114! the horror!). The King's Speech is more than just a solidly-made movie; it's a touching film capturing the bonds of friendship, bonds that transcend class, manners, upbringing, nationality, etc. I'm talking about a film that everyone labeled Oscar Bait until they saw it, and realized that the director had an actual vision, the actors had great chemistry, and the writer had a real fucking story.

The Social Network has all these things, too. I didn't nominate The King's Speech for Picture, Director, Screenplay, etc. But it's still one of my favorite movies of the year, because it really was one of the BEST of the year. Let it be recognized, just once, for more than Colin Firth's performance. And if it wins at the Oscars, I'll still be happy. If any of my Top Ten win best Picture, I'll be happy.

Congratulations to The King's Speech, a truly deserving winner. We've got a real race now, at least. It will only get trickier when The Fighter wins Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards.


Unknown said...

It deserves to win. Other films deserve to win as well. But this is not a Crash situation. The King's Speech is truly a great film and one of my favorites of 2010. It deserves recognition. And anyone who claims it's an old people film couldn't possibly comprehend the subtleties that go into making something truly great. Figure that out before knocking on The King's Speech.

TomS said...

Walter, thank you for this post. I must admit I was a little blue that you left "The King's Speech" out of your nominations, but I could not fault any of your choices--personal preferences aside.

I was truly surprised by the PGA victory, and wonder if it will prove to be just the recognition "The King's Speech" needs to be seriously reconsidered. Because if it is, I think many who dismissed it as second-rate Masterpiece Theater will be really pleased.

Caleb said it well too.

Great post Walter!

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Caleb - It's amusing because all the people complaining that The King's Speech isn't as new and modern and young and OF THE TIME as The Social Network...are writers in their late 30s. And all the people that find they can support both just as emphatically...are in their early twenties. And they want to talk about a disconnect?

Tom - that why you remained silent on my noms? ;) Seriously, as much as I complain about this year being mediocre, it was difficult whittling down those choices to just five. The King's Speech was easily the sixth-slot for Original Screenplay, Score and Cinematography.

Andrew K. said...

I want to take your post and hold it up for scrutiny from all. If a good movie great movie beats an excellent movie it doesn't make the great one terrible because it has the gall to win. Umm, it didn't vote for itself, it people liked it more, people liked it - sheesh.