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February 4, 2011
Eric and Trevan talk about the tragic beauty of "Blue Valentine," opening at Liberty Hall and the schmaltzy garbage of "The Company Men."
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Actually guys Up in the Air had lost so much steam it didn't even pick up the best adapted screenplay award, it went to precious. I remember because the screenplay categories were about the only ones I didn't pick right last year. Up in the Air was supposed to win adapted and Precious took it and Inglourious Basterds was supposed to win original and it went to the Hurt Locker.
Ah, right you are. I was thinking of his Golden Globe win, proof that a lot can change between the Globes and Oscar time.
Yea, sadly I was wrong. The Social Network was the frontrunner at one point by winning most of the critics awards, doing fairly well in theaters and on dvd, and being held as the film that defines a generation. I always thought the last part was perhaps the wrong way to describe the flick, though it certainly has its nods to the world in which we live. I think there is one part where Timberlake as Sean Parker puts a glass on a laptop as a coaster. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I found that funny in a world where people are "wired" in and what social skills are lost through it. Of course mostly I think the flick has traditional values and ambitions put within a modern tale.
Sadly though we are seeing a large divide between critics and the actual industry(PGA, DGA, SAG). The King's Speech isn't a bad film, but its by far the most safest within this Best Picture category and its certainly not the best. Of course it wouldn't be the first time, the best film didn't win. It seemed like the Academy was veering more with what critics thought, but it could be simply there just wasn't the kind of passion there was for Atonement, The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Avatar(too CGI for mostly an actor's branch I believe) as there is for The King's Speech.
There's actually a few similarities both films, but The Social Network covers the ground of The King's Speech and does far more. Many are saying it comes down to is "likability". How ironic? The King's Speech follows characters you like and root for. I suppose, The Social Network doesn't though I certainly did root for all of them weirdly enough. This whole likable factor. Its silly. I only need to sympathize or understand them. I don't need to like them. I liked it when Zuckerberg stuck it to the Winklevoss twins, and yet I liked when the Winklevoss took legal action against Zuckerberg. I liked it when Eduardo took action. I could understand the actions made by these characters whether good or bad. I think its a shame how narrow people look at these characters, particularly of Mark Zuckerberg who will join the great anti-heroes of Daniel Plainview, Michael Corleone, and Charles Foster Kane. I could understand if the script had a narrowed vision of these characters, but it doesn't.
I can't imagine many general audiences will complain with The King's Speech winning(maybe they will over something like Inception or Toy Story 3, both strong flicks with Black Swan having many audiences divided). The flick is as clear as day, told well, with uplifting themes, and a lack of hype that The Social Network had. If people are asking the question "What is so good about The Social Network? I don't get it. The King's Speech is better", I encourage them to watch The Social Network again. I can't imagine anyone still calling it the "Facebook Movie" after they have seen it unless their in complete denial. I encourage the Academy, if they must go with something traditional, then go with a classical Western tale like True Grit or the interesting tale of two brothers in The Fighter, where one finds his voice and the other redeems himself. Perhaps the fascination with British royalty goes over my head, but as a well told as The King's Speech, there's no suspense. There's no thought that these characters might do the wrong thing. When two of the individuals make up, the last 45 minutes or so just drag. Firth is perfectly deserving of his accolades, even if I prefer other performances, but if The Social Network does happen to win Adapted Screenplay and Director, and yet still losses Picture, well that's baffling to me. As you can see I have too much time on my hands to make a post like this, but its somewhat disappointing. The Social Network is the best film of the year.
I agree with you Jimmy. "The King's Speech" is well made from top to bottom. The cast is perfect. The writing is great. The story is inspiring. But it is a spectacularly safe and traditional movie. But in many ways, so is "The Social Network," which wrestles with classic themes of greed, industry, ambition and alienation. I have to say it is kind of interesting that the backlash for "The Social Network" is coinciding so closely with the Oscars. Eric and I recently recorded our Oscar picks for KTKA and our choices were pretty similar –– to a point. Eric still favors "The Social Network," but I say the smart money is on "The King's Speech."
True. I agree. The Social Network does have traditional ideas and themes, just put within the modern world.
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