Last 2010 Oscar Shot

Last night Deadline‘s Pete Hammond reported that he’s “picking up some interesting trends” in his chats with Academy pallies. “Not just the expected strong support for The King’s Speech (it’s real), but also a surprising amount of backing for The Fighter. It has been the most mentioned movie after The Social Network and could figure significantly by drawing mostly first- and second-place votes.”

“Because you don’t know the answer to that question, I pity you.”

He also noted that while “some” of his Academy pallies “have already cast their ballots, most have not.” So if there’s any point in making a last-minute plea to any fence-sitters out there, it needs to happen right now. So here’s my last attempt to influence the final vote, however slightly or marginally.

BEST PICTURE: I realize that The King’s Speech crowd is unreachable, intractable and adamantine. All they want to do is vote for the movie they like the best. That’s all they care about. It doesn’t bother them that they’re about to contribute to a Great Historical Embarassment along the lines of the Academy’s giving the Best Picture Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy, Chicago, The Greatest Show on Earth, Dances With Wolves and Around The World in Eighty Days. They’ve apparently got some kind of weird enzyme in their system that blocks any sense of shame or hesitancy about this.

Allow me to paraphrase words spoken to a military tribunal in Paths of Glory by Kirk Douglas‘s Colonel Dax: “There are times when I’m ashamed to be a member of the industry-supported, Oscar-following community, and this is one such occasion. Ladies and gentlemen of the Academy, proclaiming to the world that you sincerely believe that The King’s Speech is the Best Picture of 2010 reveals a mediocre sensibility. It will be seen in the eyes of history as a very pedestrian call, and will haunt each of you, due respect, to the day you die. I can’t believe that the wisest and noblest impulse among movie lovers, which is the ability to recognize the difference between a very good and highly likable film vs. one of exceptional craft and dimension and incandescence, can be completely dead here. Therefore, I humbly beg you to come to your senses, forget about what you ‘like’ and think of the contempt and derision that may be your legacy for decades and centuries to come.”

BEST DIRECTOR: You know it has to be The Social Network‘s David Fincher — you know it does. Forget the DGA call. This is your deal. Good effin’ God…please.

BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech — a fine performance, a well-liked fellow, a done deal.

BEST ACTRESS: If you’re really going to give the Best Picture Oscar to The King’s Speech, you just can’t go “full fart” by giving the Best Actress Oscar to Annette Bening, as good as she is in The Kids Are All Right. You’d be creating a rep for the Oscar telecast as the Baby Boomer Movie Awards, which will obviously hasten its irrelevance, and the Movie Godz would completely freak out. You have to stay with Black Swan ‘s Natalie Portman and show respect to the millions of women who’ve been flocking to this film and who will push the total gross to over $100 million.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: You’ve got to stick with The Fighter‘s Christian Bale. Forget about any last-minute shift to The King’s Speech‘s Geoffrey Rush, as wonderful as his voice sounds when it’s been well-amplified with sub-woofer speakers.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Whatever feels right. My favorite performance was given by Amy Adams in The Fighter because it was my favorite character, but the actress I most admire at this stage of the game and therefore must support is the great Melissa Leo. In the words of David Poland, “If you were going to vote for Melissa Leo and are considering not voting for her because of [her self-financed] ads, you are an ass.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: If you give the Oscar to The King’s Speech‘s David Seidler, then okay, whatever…it took him years to get there and he did a very good job. And he may have cinched it when he answered that question I asked him during the Santa Barbara Film Festival “It Stars With The Script” panel. But it ought to go, I feel, to Inception‘s Christopher Nolan for the extraordinary vision and originaltiy.





BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, True Grit.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Alice in Wonderland.

BEST FILM EDITING: The Social Network.

BEST MAKEUP: You can’t give it to The Wolfman…no! And you can’t give an Oscar to Barney’s Version for putting wigs on Paul Giamatti. Default winner: The Way Back.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: The Social Network.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3.




  • JR

    I would be THRILLED if “The Fighter” slipped in here. Great movie.

    Same for Black Swan. Best movie of 2010.

    I do NOT think “The King’s Speech” is the best, or most deserving film in the race, but if it wins, I prefer it by a wide margin to TSN which didn’t even come close to making my personal 10 best list of 2010. I am not surprised that TSN not only slipped from the presumed front runner spot, but it isn’t even #2.

    Hoping for big upsets on Oscar night.

  • JR


    After reading the link, I see that TSN is still mentioned as a #1 or #2 pick by most polled, and “The Fighter” is showing strength.

    But the rest of my post above stands.

  • bobbyperu

    The King’s Speech as “best” anything is nonsense. It’s passable in every way and even stirring at times, but it has no sweep, no greater relevance, no distinctly cinematic qualities whatsoever, few memorable scenes and without Colin Firth it would be nowhere near the Oscar conversation. It’s also a movie that I would never care to see again, much as I did mildly enjoy watching it once. Even if an Oscar film isn’t “universal” in scope, it should have some deeper trascendence either socially (The Social Network, The Kids are All Right), artistically (Black Swan), dramatically (The Fighter, Winter’s Bone). Even 127 Hours is more memorable than the static treatment The King’s Speech is given. If The King’s Speech had been about Rush’s character, then we would have had something.

  • Eloi Wrath

    As much as I’d love to see The Fighter win, I doubt it has a chance at all – weren’t we all told last year that Inglourious Basterds was going to be everyone’s #2 choice and would therefore sneak in past Avatar and Hurt Locker?

  • Ray DeRousse

    I absolutely love TSN, but I almost hope it loses so we can enjoy Jeff’s Jane Eyre-like breakdown.

    Where’s Prager’s deconstruction of THAT?

  • coxcable

    Wells’ point is, “this great movie not winning an Oscar” is outrageous… like that scene in “that great movie that never won an Oscar.”

    Man… if you’re going to make an analogy, you should have done it with an Oscar winning film. Or at least one that was robbed at the last second by industry politics… like Private Ryan or Brokeback.

    Paths of Glory is one of those enduring masterpieces that proves that Oscar is bullshit.

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  • Floyd Thursby

    “Paths of Glory is one of those enduring masterpieces that proves that Oscar is bullshit.” As well as Kubrick’s body of work. And Hitchcock’s. And Hawks’. Then there’s Cary Grant, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole. Even our Leo can’t win when they even bother to nominate him. The Oscars are too ridiculous to take seriously.

  • rick blaine

    A acquaintance of mine in London is an Academy member. He’s just returned from Los Angeles where he and six of his Academy friends recently lodged their ballots. He tells me they all voted the same: Kings Speech for Best film, Fincher for director, Firth for best actor, Portman best actress, Rush and Leo for supporting. For what it’s worth these guys are in their late thirties. I, too, thought The King’s Speech was terrific. True Grit even better.

  • actionlover

    “The King’s Speech” for Best Picture? Well, obviously your friends are boring, old and not at all forward-thinking, rick. I’d consider finding newer, hipper friends.

  • JR

    “and they all voted the same…”

    Yeah, sure.


  • pantingkitty

    I’m a major TSN supporter and a Jeff Wells fan, but this comment made me lol:

    I absolutely love TSN, but I almost hope it loses so we can enjoy Jeff’s Jane Eyre-like breakdown.

  • Kristopher Tapley

    Yes, the Best Picture race is between The King’s Speech and The Fighter (if there’s a race at all). TSN is bringing up the rear of the heavies, maybe even behind True Grit.

    “And he may have cinched it when he answered that question I asked him…”

    Well before that blip on the radar.

  • jse33


    Is your post a joke? You actually believe the race is between King’s Speech and…The Fighter? Let me ask you this. If the Fighter somehow did win Picture, what else ‘could’ it realistically win? Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress are locks. But that looks to be it. Which means our Picture winner would lose in Editing, Directing, Writing, and Cinematography and would have 3 wins. That’s not much. Wasn’t The Godfather the last BP winner to only have 3 wins?

    The race is clearly between TKS and TSN, which even if it loses BP, will likely take Writing and very well could win Editing and Directing. Those are 3 big consolation wins.

  • BobbyLupo

    “Wasn’t The Godfather the last BP winner to only have 3 wins?”

    No, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Crash’ also had three wins each.

    However, your point is true, that the winner of Best Picture tends to be the movie with the most Oscars. This seems like it’s going to be one of those years with several movies than win 2 or 3 — ‘Inception’, ‘True Grit’, ‘The Fighter’ — while ‘King’s Speech’ and ‘The Social Network’ fight over a few scraps like Best Sound Editing to pad their total.

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