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The battle for best picture: The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network

February 4, 2011 | Written By: Brad Sturdivant

By Nathan Swank

Communication is important in all aspects of life.  Among parents, children, spouses, friends and in the work arena, most would agree communication is one area where they could improve on.  The Oscar race for the films of 2010 has come down to two films about this specific subject.  THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a modern day look at communication using technology in the foreground.  THE KING’S SPEECH follows communication in its most primal form via the spoken word.  Neither is done face to face through their key subject matter but rather use Internet and radio for their communication paths.  Most importantly both show the importance and effects of communication whatever form it might take.

Jesse Eisenberg and Joseph Mazzello in The Social Network

Although I’m still a strong supporter of INCEPTION and believe it to be the best film of the year, I do realize it has yet to win any of the award ceremonies leading up to the Academy Awards and has a glaring omission for director.  So I do concede that INCEPTION is not a front-runner to win Best Picture.  Thus the battle belongs to THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE KING’S SPEECH.  Both are worthy opponents and along with BLACK SWAN are interchangeable on my personal 2, 3 and 4 spots.

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech

THE SOCIAL NETWORK took the lead quickly possibly due to the fact that it was released earlier.  Hailed as the best movie of the year by many critics, it has won nearly every smaller award circuits including BSFC, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, KCFCC, LAFCA, NBR OFCS, PFCS, TFCA, WAFCA and The Golden Globes.  With a respectable eight Academy Award nominations, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is looking to be a sure bet.

Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

THE KING’S SPEECH on the other hand, has taken a late surge by winning the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) Award and Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Award.  These three are widely considered a little more important than all the previously named awards.  Now leading the Academy Awards pack with a whopping twelve nominations, THE KING’S SPEECH has done the seemingly impossible task coming from behind to be an unlikely frontrunner.

Colin Firth in The King's Speech

Both films are technically sound.  THE SOCIAL NETWORK is more complex with many layers about how we treat one another while THE KING’S SPEECH is cleverly simple in its more direct approach.  Older audiences and voters may not connect to the youngness of the SOCIAL NETWORK.  Heck they may not even know what facebook is.  And they surely don’t recognize the young faces staring in the film.  And THE KING’S SPEECH may seem too stuffy and old school for younger audiences to care about or even feel relevance in today’s modern day.  Who uses radio to speak to people?

Yes, what we have here is a bona-fide Oscar Race.  I believe this to be one of the closest races the Academy has seen.  Thankfully unlike other years, both films are well deserving and no matter the results I will feel both happy for the winner and sad for the loser.  Unless of course the upset winner is INCEPTION where I will only be happy.  So what film do you think deserves the golden statue?

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