All the King's Men: EW and Phoenix Critics Defy 'Social Network' Wins
Here's why Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger won't give in to his doubts about The King's Speech as best picture -- and the Phoenix Film Critics back him up with the King's first victory over The Social Network.
Both the Gurus o'Gold and Gold Derby pundits polls just deposed the King and enthroned The Social Network as their best bet for best picture -- and if Steve Pond and I hadn't changed our votes at the last minute, the latter poll would've favored Network two to one. "Believe me, I've wavered back and forth," confesses EW's Dave Karger. But like me, he won't budge on his royal bet just because critics nationwide voted for his rival. "Oscar voters are not critics," argues Karger. "If they were, then L.A. Confidential would have beaten Titanic. And Brokeback Mountain would have won over Crash." SAG gave Network two noms, versus four for the King and The Fighter. The only thing that could swing Karger's vote: if the guilds go for Network in a big way.
But Karger did switch his best actress prediction from Annette Bening to Natalie Portman, the fickle thing.
Riding to the King's partial rescue are the 25 Phoenix Film Critics, the first big group to vote The King's Speech best picture. They gave more awards (8) to Inception, and included in the Top 10 Films list Shutter Island, which has been attracting much noisy support in the comments section of IMDb's Top 10 movies list.
Diehard Social Network advocate Sasha Stone retorts to Karger, noting that Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, and The Departed also got two SAG noms. "Finally, L.A. Confidential had Titanic breathing down its neck," says Stone. "You're only as good as the Best Picture you're standing next to."
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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 and 2013, when he called 21 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.