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The Social Network vs. The King’s Speech: Which Will Find Favour with the Academy?

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With nominations for the 2011 Academy Awards (the Oscars) due on the morning of Tuesday, Jan 25, the debate intensifies about which of the season’s juggernauts – The Social Network or The King’s Speech – will take home the highly coveted Best Picture prize when winners are announced Sunday, February 27 inside Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. Having carefully observed how these presitigious awards are decided each year, the answer for me is quite simple. The Social Network will triumph (and very likely also snag trophies for director David Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and score composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).

I’ve watched The Social Network about five times since its release, and though it benefits from brilliantly scripted dialogue, a memorable score and connects admirably with its time (Facebook has eaten the world), it is not an emotionally stirring film driven by knockout performances. Still, it stands to win the Best Picture Oscar over the regal The King’s Speech (a British period piece centred on the struggles of the speech-impaired King George VI) due to its immediate relevance to the age in which we live, following in the tradition of last year’s The Hurt Locker and past winners like Slumdog Millionaire and Titanic.

No doubt The King’s Speech is superbly wrought, terrifically acted (the triumvirate of Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter is impeccable) and finely directed by Tom Hooper. However, it is terribly difficult to see the Academy rewarding it with the Oscar over The Social Network, which (even though I’m admittedly not one of its cheerleaders) is frankly a more important and impactful film.

Also helping its case: the overwhelmingly wide praise from hugely influential critics, box office muscle and the phenomenal awards season run it has enjoyed, sweeping the critics’ circuit and copping the recent Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama). So, The Social Network may not be the ‘best’ picture of 2010 (True Grit and Black Swan loyalists, stand up!) but it certainly possesses the attributes Academy voters are keen on.

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About TYRONE S REID - Tallawah

  • FN

    You may very well be correct, but in my humble opinion, the King’s Speech is not only a superior film, but the acting performances in it make the very good performances of the Social Network look merely average.

  • Point taken, but performances are not usually the main determining factor when it comes to the overall win for Best Picture.

  • James Wright

    You can’t even compare “The Social Network” to “The King’s Speech” the movie is on a whole other level of Superior Filmmaking…The only way “The Social Network” could possibly win would obviously be for political reasons…I haven’t seen a picture like “The King’s Speech” since “A Beautiful Mind” and that says something…People who “know” and “love” film would agree 100%…most people just want it to win because it’s their generation film…both movies are 10s…I do still love “The Social Network” but The King’s Speech is on a much better film and on a much higher level..

  • @James. I too love both films but The Social Network has considerable momentum working in its favour. It does have the edge over King’s Speech.

  • Dorothy


  • @Dorothy: It’s definitely inspiring, particularly that ending.

  • smartguy75

    I have seen both the movies.

    First I read your article and your answers to other people’s comment. I feel you are very biased towards social network and you are taking it too personally that people are favoring The King’s Speech in the comments of your article and your feelings are just getting hurt! Sorry but it is pretty much obvious from your behaviour!

    Secondly, I was backing Social Network until I saw The King’s Speech. I have to say The King’s Speech is much better movie in acting and storyline compared to the Social Network. Just because Social Network appeals to today’s generation does not mean, Oscar should neglect a well crafted fine movie like The King’s Speech. Social Network is a fast paced movie for sure but I would be stupid to say it is better than The King’s Speech. The Directors Guild honor is one of the most-accurate forecasts for the Oscars. Only six times in the 62-year history of the guild awards has the winner failed to take home the directing Oscar. Tom Hooper pulled off an upset win Saturday for the top film honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards for his British monarchy tale The King’s Speech. And I kind of agree here. David Fincher is great director but I don’t think Social Network was a difficult movie to direct since it is based on Facebook which is appealing to mass people. Tom Hooper job was difficult to pull up the royal monarchy into real life and bring out stellar performances from the great Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

    Just accept the fact that it was just a bad timing and bad luck for Social Network movie in year 2010.