February 1, 2011

Battle of The True Stories For This Year's Oscar

Four films this year are battling for the top prizes at the Oscars this year; David O. Russell's THE FIGHTER, David Fincher's THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Danny Boyle's 127 HOURS Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.  Though all these films couldn't be more different than each other they all do have one thing in common which is that they are all "based on a true story".  It's as if the reality TV virus has started to infect the Academy Awards. The questions everyone is asking now is how true are these stories, and, the even bigger question, will that matter when it comes time for Oscar voters to make their picks?

Both SOCIAL and HOURS seem to take the loosest and most fictional approach to their true life inspirations.  And they are struggling for awards momentum lately.  In David Finchers' retelling of the rise of Mark Zuckenberg, he creates a wholly fictional framing device for the young Harvard nerd's quest to create Facebook--he wants to meet girls.  However, the real life Zuckenberg already had a girlfriend when he was in college.  In fact, he still has the girlfriend today.

Bigger queries are being raised over the Oscar-favorite THE KING'S SPEECH.  There seems to be a whisper campaign starting up that King George was more an appeaser than he is painted in the movie.  Will this embellishment of history dash the film's chances for the big prize?  Probably not.  The film is still brilliant and, even though THE SOCIAL NETWORK was highly entertaining, the story of King George has the emotional story going for it, one that audiences have responded to.  Not unlike a movie a few years back which humanized King George's daughter...THE QUEEN.

I think that the reality theme of the 2010 race is more likely a fluke.  What Oscar really loves is royalty! And no amount of whispering will sway voters otherwise.  My bet is THE KING'S SPEECH will take home 5-6 statues at least, maybe more, including Best Picture.  

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