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Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King’s Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn’t A Shoo-In

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

It’s only September, which means that Kris Tapley and I are declaring The King’s Speech and The Social Network frontrunners—for now. Which films could possibly supplant them? Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel. I argue that The Fighter is directed by the one and only David O. Russell, while Kris points out that All the President’s Men was beaten by Rocky. The Beaver‘s Mel Gibson makes another problematic award-season figure. Ben Affleck’s The Town needs to accumulate success and gravitas. And then there’s the Coen brothers’ True Grit.

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Keil Shults

Kelli, whoever she is, has passed along the following message:

“Rudin spent several years bringin The Road to the big screen. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?”


Kelli – I hear you but Rudin, Weinstein, Polanski, whatever — the Academy has no problem giving Oscars to controversial people if their movies are good enough. And no one, including Anne or Kris, has seen the fighter yet. The only reason you think Rudin’s rep might not live up to Russell’s is simple: Nobody’s caught Rudin on youtube yet. Too bad, because I think I’d actually enjoy watching that as much as Lily Tomlin/Russell mash up. And let’s not forget, Anne states in this podcast that Russell is in “Mel Gibson” category — that’s just not even remotely close to the truth. Most people don’t know who David O. Russell is — he got in a fight with an actor on the set, didn’t go on an anti-semite, drunken rage where he deeply offended most of the entertainment industry so I feel the gibson comparison is just not remotely rooted in truth.

Keil Shults

I think we all know that Fincher and Hooper’s films will be forgotten by December, allowing Russell’s “Nailed” and Lonergan’s “Margaret” to emerge as 11th hour front-runners.

Keil Shults

Oh yeah, before The Social Network hype and acclaim got into full swing, my most anticipated film was Black Swan, which already seems to have been forgotten in the wake of Fincher’s latest masterwork. I’m curious how Thompson feels about the film and it’s Oscar chances, though I can probably predict the latter. And perhaps she’s already reviewed the film and I’ve just missed it. Either way, I hope that some good films aren’t completely overlooked as these hip favorites emerge in the coming months. Remember Winter’s Bone? Didn’t think so…

Keil Shults

Did I just type Interception and fail to conclude another train of thought, as well as making a couple of other typos? I seem to be forgetting my grandmother’s golden rule: never blog about films after entertaining guests who provided wine.

Keil Shults

While I also don’t feel that all of Russell’s films are cold as ice, I can fully understand her reasoning that his movie would have to be a masterpiece to get much love, given its maker’s behavior. As for you claiming that Scott Rudin is also one of the most hated men in entertainment, I don’t think his negative rep would hold a candle to Russell’s. Plus, Rudin produces numerous great films, while Russell has merely directed a handful of small, often divisive pictures. Personally, I don’t care much about Russell’s tantrums, or that of his actor (remember the Bale Terminator debacle?), and I hope his film will be great. I rarely, if ever, hope that someone’s film will be a failure, mainly because I’m a moviegoer and not a Hollywood mover and shaker. And as someone who has always fought to boost the reputatn of Three Kings, ever since my friends derisively laughed about seeing “Marky Mark” run away from milk in the trailer back in 1999. So I’d love for the film to be great and Russell to get his act together.

As for the Oscar race itself, I sort of understand why people want to go on record as being able to predict what the top two votegetters appear to be at this point, but I obviously think it’s too early to be too certain. For one thing, why do most of these recent articles and discussions seem to ignore Interception, which many seem to feel is a full-blown masterpiece? Sorry, but Toy Story 3 has less of a chance at the top prize than Nolan’s epic. And what about Nolan for director? I can’t imagine many more projects that would have been so hard to direct, much less that brilliantly.
I will say that True Grit, no matter how amazing, has little chance of winning Best Picture. For starters, it’s a remake. Secondly, it’s a western, which screams out of touch with modern America. Plus, it seems (on paper, at least) too close to the Coens’ No Country for Old Men, which earned the top prize a few years ago. As much as I love the Coens, I’m kinda hoping that The Social Network is as stunning as I’ve heard and that it will prove to be deserving of Oscar glory once I finally see it.


So the race has boiled down to Social Network and King’s Speech in September? Absolutely not. Don’t buy it. And, Anne, your rant about David Russell’s movies being “cold as ice” couldn’t be further off. I have to agree with Kris on this one — Did you see Flirting With Disaster, Spanking The Monkey, Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees? I mean love them or hate them, those movies all have deep humanity in them. And you think he’s so hated that he can’t get nominated? Why? He yelled on the set? Got in a fight with his actors? Interesting. The only reason you know about it is because it was caught on you tube. Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin, arguably two of the most hated men in the entertainment industry throw tantrums, go through assistants like toilet paper, lie, cheat, steal, back peddle and generally conduct business as tyrants but their two movies are in the lead to win best picture? If a day at the office with Mr. Weinstein or Rudin, where they constantly abuse the most innocent of people that can’t defend themselves (among those that maybe can) would you then be saying that they wouldn’t win best picture because they’re jerks? I haven’t seen any of the movies yet – not Social Network, not King’s Speech, not the Fighter, but Here’s what I say — a good movie is a good movie and if Academy members LOVE it, it doesn’t matter what asshole made it. It will be recognized.


>Any word on a dec release for TWB?

I’d really like to know that,too.Some raved it already at Telluride. It’s Peter Weir’s film.I’m sure if Newmarket give a Oscar run to TWB,film would be a Oscar contender.


Great episode!!!

It really does feel like it’ll be Social Network vs. King’s Speech(trailer looked amazing btw). The Fighter? Theres just no way. And i doubt a True Grit remake can win even with the Coens behind the camera.

U were talking about how the Academy might respond to NLMG being “stately” and “elegant”….i really think that could make The Way Back a contender as well if newmarket grew a pair and decided to campaign and screen it for voters. Plus its Weir and it could be one of those “Lets just give him an oscar before he f’ing dies”-type situations. Any word on a dec release for TWB?

But yea Eisenberg FTW!!!

Keil Shults

I’ve been informed via e-mail that I should click on the podcast to hear more. I’m assuming that said podcast is not appearing on my iPad for some reason. Curse this fancy yet ultimately frustrating birthday gift! If there is indeed a podcast that accompanies this headline I’ll make sure to check it out on a regular computer later. My apologies. And, for the record, I did listen to and enjoyed your 30 min, post-TIFF audio discussion with…some guy, whoever he is. I was hoping to hear your thoughts on Black Swan and its Oscar chances, but it fared well enough without it.

Keil Shults

With all due respect, is that it? I clicked that headline/link for this? I haven’t accidentally opened my Twitter app, have I?

What about TREE OF LIFE. Is it officially out of running. I cant believe FOX is not going to release it before January…

The Pope

If there is a showdown between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, it will be very interesting. Both films are about communication, kings, and their struggles to overcome social/personal disabilities. And obviously, both films examine the topic(s) from their preferred stances and in styles (TKS is traditional and linear while TSN is modern and fractured).

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