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Oscars 2011: It's Old School Monarchy Over Modern Technology as King's Speech Tops Awards

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By Chris Kavan - 02/28/11 at 12:21 AM CT

The Social Network had the early momentum, but The King's Speech came on strong in recent weeks to steal most of the thunder away. In the end, that push led to a big night for the film.

The King's Speech walked away with four awards: Best Picture, Best Director, for Tom Hooper, Best Actor, for Colin Firth and Best Original Screenplay. While Colin Firth and Original Screenplay were almost guaranteed locks, Best Picture had been up in the air. Even more surprising might have been the win for Best Director, which many, including myself, thought would go to The Social Network Director David Fincher.

While I'm not calling this in the same realm as Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan, I have made it quite clear that I think The Social Network is the best film of 2010. It appears that Hollywood is still infatuated with historical dramas.

The Social Network wasn't shut out. It did win for Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Original Score. In what I consider an upset, Fincher was not awarded best director. I have been a Fincher fan since Se7en, and he has yet to disappoint me. I'm not saying Hooper isn't deserving, just that Fincher was more deserving.

The show itself seemed a bit subdued following the classic insert-the-hosts-into-the-best-pictures trick. It was quite fun to watch Anne Hathaway tap dance in a turkey outfit and rock two eye patches. After that, I think the biggest laugh came from James Franco's grandmother and her run in with Marky Mark. While they certainly were adequate, parading Franco out in drag, calling technical winners nerds and making fun of Hugh Jackman... it all seemed a bit trite.

I did like the auto-tune Harry Potter, Social Network and Twilight "original" songs. It just goes to show, auto-tune is obviously a tool of the devil, in that it can make anyone into a "musician" - despite the lack of any musical talent.

Some of the highlights of an otherwise rote show was Kirk Douglas taking the stage and looking right at home - even getting a few good jokes in. If that wasn't enough, Melissa Leo made history by dropping the first F-bomb in Oscar history - good thing the telecast isn't quite live as I'm sure ABC appreciates the delay so they won't accrue a hefty fine. The most enthusiastic speech of the night award goes to Best Live Short Film winner, God of Love director Luke Matheny, and he also wins the award for most awesome hair.

Best pairing of the night goes to Russell Brand and Helen Mirren - who couldn't be more different, yet had the most witty back and forth banter, even if most of it wasn't in English. Most Deserving Award of the night: Natalie Portman. I've literally been in awe ever since I first saw her in The Professional back in 1994. All I can say is, it's about time.

The closet the show came to any kind of controversy was The Inside Job winners taking bloated plutocrats to task for avoiding any prison time for causing the financial crisis and winner for Best Supporting Actor, Christian Bale, pimping the website of Dicky Eklund, the trainer he portrayed in the film - he even got a few boos. Creepiest moment of the night was Bob Hope announcing presenters from beyond the grave. Technology is a great thing, but it can also be quite scary.

Inception actually ties The King's Speech for award wins - taking home four as well, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Special Effects and Cinematography. And, in the most one-sided award of the night, Toy Story 3 came away with the Best Animated Feature statuette.

All in all it was a pretty safe Oscar presentation. I count only one real upset - Best Director - one bleeped word and no Banksy. Entertaining? Yes. Remarkable? No. Here's hoping they don't play it quite as safe next year... I hear Ricky Gervais is available.

Read more at Oscars 2011: Blogger's Corner on MSN Movies.


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