“Presenter Steven Spielberg aptly introduced the Best Picture by mentioning all of the classic films that lost Best Picture. At that point everyone knew that The King’s Speech was going to be the one to take it. While The King’s Speech does a really good job of being a WWII period piece, it is by no means the most excellent film of the year. It took a great historical story and added in great actors, but there is nothing particularly cinematic or iconic from it. The Oscars were even struggling to find shots from it to use as examples of costume or cinematography. It is great at what it is, but is not deserving of being the film we look back on from this year as the Best Picture.
It is a classic example of the Weinstein brothers’ politicization of art in the Oscars by throwing obscene amounts of money into campaigns for this movie, even recutting scenes out of it so it would get a lower rating and be available to make more money and garner more attention. If the Weinsteins really believed in the art of filmmaking they would not compromise a director’s vision and remove scenes simply to win Oscars. It reminds me of when they were at Miramax and made a similarly disgusting push for Shakespeare in Love, which won out ahead of Saving Private Ryan. Which of these films will be remembered? Saving Private Ryan. In five years we will look back on this year and think “Black Swan, The Social Network, and Winter’s Bone really lost to The King’s Speech?!”
Then there was the out-of-left-field win by Tom Hooper for Best Director, leap frogging all of the other candidates, each of whom was legitimately more qualified to win. The biggest shame was that David Fincher lost out. For so long he has flown under the radar and quietly become one of the most well-respected filmmakers in Hollywood. He puts together films of immense quality, similar to an on-form Ridley Scott, and marries technical achievement with human characters. He faced his most difficult challenge in making a compelling film out of the story of Facebook, especially since there were not really any high stakes, just a lot of dialogue. Hooper is a fine director, but he doesn’t have as much to do with the success of The King’s Speech as Fincher does with The Social Network. The acting in The King’s Speech is great, and it is marginally better than your average historical piece. However all of the other directors nominated took chances, experimented and produced brilliant films – Hooper was rehashing his HBO miniseries John Adams in a British setting. He also has not seen the PG-13 cut of the film, the winner for Best Director has not seen the final cut of his film that is playing in theatres?! That shows you how much Harvey Weinstein’s politicking really changes the Oscars… Sorry Fincher and Aronofsky, at least you have your professional integrity.”—