January 31st, 2011
12:44 PM ET
It looks like this year’s awards season is going to have one boring Oscar pool.
Between the 12 Oscar nods given to “The King’s Speech” and the film’s victory over the weekend – with director Tom Hooper being awarded for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film at the Directors Guild of America Awards, Colin Firth snagging the best actor SAG award plus the entire “King’s Speech” crew being awarded with a best movie ensemble SAG honor – critics are betting that Firth and Co. will be accepting awards on February 27 as well.
As the San Francisco Chronicle puts it, last night’s SAG awards “helped to bring all into crystal clear view: The King's Speech, barring a shocking upset from The Social Network, will be The Academy Awards winner for Best Picture. “
Time’s Richard Corliss wholeheartedly agrees, noting that “if you're looking for a cliffhanger on Sunday, Feb. 27, you may as well watch Big Love on HBO, because there won't be much suspense over on ABC at the 83rd award ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In all likelihood, the Oscar race is over.”
At the start of the derby, “it's been received wisdom that Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (or Hailee Steinfeld) would take the acting trophies ... [and] that Toy Story 3 would be Best Animated Feature,” Corliss writes. It also appeared “that The Social Network, which won in 25 of the 30 critics' polls, would be named Best Picture.”
But no more. The Los Angeles Times’ Nicole Sperling has drawn the same conclusion, saying that "In the span of about two weeks, 'The King's Speech' has gone from Oscar underdog to front-runner," and the New York Times’ Carpetbagger blog is assuming no different, adding that while there weren't any surprises at the SAGs, the Oscar odds for "The King's Speech" have improved in the past week.
There’s also the assumption that “King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper will see a repeat win for best director at the Oscars. The Guardian calls Hooper’s Directors Guild win “hugely pertinent because winners of the DGA award almost always go on to win the Oscar for best director. There have been only six occasions since the event first took place in 1948 on which there has been a different outcome.”
As for the other categories, who among us would be colored not-at-all-surprised if the Oscars were to be a repeat of both the Golden Globes and the SAG awards, handing out statuettes to Christian Bale (for best supporting actor), his “Fighter” co-star Melissa Leo (for best supporting actress), Colin Firth (for best actor, of course) and Natalie Portman (if only so we can see what she’ll say in her best actress acceptance speech this time around).
But of course, they call them upsets for a reason – are any of you betting that the Oscars will shake up awards season?
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