The best picture Oscar, inevitably, goes to The King’s Speech, which earlier in the Oscar show looked like it wasn’t winning anything, but eventually won the night with four Oscars: best original screenplay, director (Hooper talks win), lead actor and best picture. A bevy of producers surged onto the stage, revealing the difficult task of getting the film made.
Harvey Weinstein chased it down, as did Momentum UK, leading many in England to wonder why they passed on the film. Why did they? Because the period drama was in decline at the time, and studio specialty departments were not taking risks on sober period pieces. I hope to God that everyone wakes up and smells the coffee, and looks at the list of lower-budget passion projects that fought their way into audience’s hearts by virtue of spending more than one boffo opening weekend in a theater. All the top ten Oscar nominees, even the big-budget original Inception, which also took years to get made, built audiences the good old-fashioned way, via word-of-mouth.
While Inception nabbed four nominations, they weren’t in the top categories; Alice in Wonderland won two technicals as well. The Social Network won three, and Toy Story 3 won two. True Grit was shut out, after ten nominations.