Friday, February 25, 2011

The movie of the year

I don’t think it was for nothing that the only movie I posted about last year was The Social Network (10/8/10). Not that long afterwards, the film about Mark Zuckerburg and the start of Facebook began winning every award - mainly critic awards - that was being handed out.

Then, beginning with the Golden Globe Awards last month (for some reason, the vote of some 80 foreign journalists writing on the Hollywood film industry and known for their annual boozy dinner show, backroom deals and having a thing for Pia Zadora has come to matter), The King’s Speech began to pick up steam, awards-wise, big-time. It now looks like the fact-based film about the British King George VI having debilitating stutter and being helped and befriended by an unconventional speech therapist is the one to beat - or is running neck and neck - for best motion picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening.

I adored The King’s Speech. I thought it was a sumptuous jewel of a film, with a topic particularly fascinating to me with my impaired speech. (I see that there is an article in today’s L.A Times about the film boosting business for speech therapists.) I’m also interested in anything with Wallis Simpson, the abdication ("the woman I love") and all that. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush give a virtual master acting class, and there are many delectable bits by such great English actors as Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi.

Yes, The King’s Speech is worthy of the Oscar, but I think that The Social Network should get it. Not only is this movie very well made, it captures our lives, our times, perfectly. And not just because it’s about Facebook, which dominates more and more of our lives. (By the way, there was an article in yesterday’s L.A Times about the Winklevoss brothers, the identical twins who, as seen in the film, claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole the Facebook idea from them, still pursuing legal action.) It nails a lot of things that go on today - from rating girls to ruthless business practices to college boys walking around in the freezing rain in flip-flops and hoodies. Like I said, I don’t think that it’s insignificant that this is the only movie I blogged about last year.

Here are two other movies up for the best-picture Oscar that stuck out, among other excellent ones, for me:

True Grit - Seeing the Coen brothers practice their craft is a real treat, even when it gets a bit too showy.

127 Hours - Yes, seeing the guy cut off his own arm is harrowing, but this film, like most directed by Danny Boyle, bubbles with spunk. And James Franco, who is on screen almost the whole time, is yummy!

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