The race for Best Picture this year, again with 10 nominees, has really become a close race, with one film sweeping the critics’ prizes and another the actor’s guilds.
The nominees are “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “The King’s Speech,” “127 Hours,” “The Social Network,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone.”
Up until fairly recently, “The Social Network” seemed to be unbeatable for this year’s Best Picture award. Though that possibility is still quite likely, the British “The King’s Speech” has become formidable competition. Both films are good and deserving of the award, and while “The Social Network” had a hold on most of the critics’ prizes, “The King’s Speech” did so well with the guild awards that no one really knows for sure which will win.
On the one hand, “The Social Network” is very of-the-moment, fresh and detailed, but on the other, “The King’s Speech” is rousing and a traditional type of award-grabbing movie. The race will likely remain fairly close right up until the award is presented, but, at the moment, the favor seems to be behind “The King’s Speech.” Other than those two, there are eight other great films also nominated.
“The Fighter,” which pushed through the cliches of typical boxing movies to become a deeply moving and well-acted film, is likely a distant third. Good box office results have boosted “True Grit” perhaps a little higher than it deserves to be, but the movie is still a vibrant new take on the Western genre very much in keeping with the Coen Brothers style.
“Inception” is worthy of consideration simply because of the sheer ambitiousness of it, but it is too devoid of emotionality to take the prize in a year of such highly emotional films.
“Black Swan,” which is one of the most feverishly devastating film experiences I have ever encountered, might be a bit too strange to be awarded the ultimate prize.
“Toy Story 3” becomes another in the wonderful trend of Disney/Pixar films finally getting their due as one of the best films of the year, and this third installment in the magical “Toy Story” series is as affecting for adults as it is for kids, but I don’t think the Academy is quite ready to give top honors to a brilliant animated film.