Handicapping the Best Picture Race

After this weekend I will have seen seven of the ten Best Picture Oscar nominees.

Seen it: Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, King’s Speech, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are Alright.

Still to Come: Winter’s Bone, 127 Hours, Black Swan

Thumbnail image for kings-speech2.jpg

I probably will skip the NBA to catch the Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis “psychological” thriller, so I should be at eight by days end, and get back in time to see the NHL All-Star game.

The Best Picture probably boils down to a three horse race between The King’s Speech, The Social Network, and True GritThe Fighter is at best a long shot, although Christian Bale is likely to get Best Sporting Actor.

Joel and Ethan Coen already have an Oscar under the belt in 2007 for “No Country for Old Men.”  There are some similarities in that story of murder and revenge with their reboot of the 1969 movie that won John Wayne a Best Actor statue.

The Social Network is still my personal favorite.  I have the DVD, and I am in the middle of rewatching it.  Despite the fact that there are no guns, no murders, no “dream within a dream” tale of science fiction, and no impassioned speech to allay the fears of millions of British on the eve of World War II, there is still something riveting and fascinating about the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. 

Aaron Sorkin has crafted a masterful and suspenseful script, despite all the facts in the movie are fairly well documented.  David Fincher’s direction is tight, and does such a great job jumping between the past and the movie’s present.

However, Oscar has a tendency to reward grand dramas, especially those with historical significance.  A quick look at recent history shows winners such as The Last Emperor (1987,) Dances With Wolves (1990,) Schindler’s List (1993,) The English Patient (1996,) A Beautiful Mind (2001,) have taken on historical events.

Therefore, I think The King’s Speech will be the winner at the end of Oscar night.

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