5 Reasons 'King's Speech' Can Win Best Picture
Fox News Oscar Expert Tariq Khan explains why The Social Network simply has to lose to all the King's men on Oscar night.
Gold Derby reports Khan's top five reasons The King's Speech must win:
1. It's likely to get 11 noms vs. Social Network's 9, and having nobody top your tally corresponds with best picture in 75% of the past 40 years. (Not sure how he knows it won't be 9 for the King and 11 for Network, though.)
2. Actors, the biggest voting branch, like King's better, the same way they liked Hurt Locker better than Avatar. (But Network isn't animated, which is why they hated Avatar. Few admired anything but the tech achievement of Avatar; critics prefer Hurt Locker 97% to 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, and almost every critics group has backed Network over King's.)
"It's a scenario that could be identical to the Shakespeare in Love/Saving Private Ryan battle," says Khan. But that was an historic upset orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein when he had way more money and more absolute power, and nobody has heard of any comparable two-fisted machinations on behalf of The King's Speech. See tomorrow's special Sundance issue of The Hollywood Reporter for Stephen Galloway's savvy guide to precisely what Harvey needs to do right now to beat The Social Network.
3. It will win the SAG award, reversing the Network tide, just as the SAG award helped trigger the Shakespeare in Love and Crash upsets. (But who knows who'll win the SAG award?)
4. The preferential ballot means even if Social Network gets more #1 votes, King's will win because it will be in most Oscar voters' top three. (Could happen that way. Or not.)
5. It's now the underdog. "Academy voters ... want to show that they think for themselves." (I thought they might vote against King's because for so long everybody said they were destined to vote for it. If they're really pissed about being seen as lemmings, maybe they'll vote for The Fighter just to spite us.)
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Scott, whose THR coverage appears both in print and online, is one of the film industry's most experienced and trusted awards analysts, and possesses one of the strongest track records at forecasting the Oscars. His best showings came in 2006 (when he called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he called 20 of 24 winners); he was also the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). An alumnus of Brandeis University, he previously ran "The Feinberg Files" blog for the Los Angeles Times. He is now a voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and is writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 350 high-profile Hollywood figures.
Gregg contributes awards news, features online, and "The Race" column in print.
Tim contributes awards news and features, both in print and online.