Is the Oscars race already over?
January 31st, 2011
12:44 PM ET

Is the Oscars race already over?

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?

Filed under: Awards Season • Golden Globes • Oscars 2011 • SAG Awards

soundoff (53 Responses)
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  3. RideThisHandsomeBlackCowboyBrett

    Let me put it this way:If Dr. King were resurrected today-Apr. 6,2011,and were allowed to see only Hollywood and NOT the vast improvement in other opportunities for African Americans,he would wonder if,rather than 2011,he'd
    been transported to 1951,when blacks were invisible except for their stereotypical casting as maids,servants,buffoons,etc.Frankly,I prefer the Tea Baggers,at least their racism is fairly obvious.The only "pro-
    gressive" aspect of Hollywood is they OPENLY philander,drink themselves stupid-though most are even sober-and get stoned!!!

    April 6, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. chichita

    Colin Firth is soooo good looking, and gorgeous! just give him the damn Oscar!!

    February 3, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Greg

    Nowadays, I can't seem to understand why they don't have a best foreign actress/actor categories like they do at the BAFTA awards. This allows for more categories. There were performances that were not even mentioned; for example, Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist from the Girl with the dragon tattoo series. Hollywood has become more clickish and racist than ever before. There were many performances by Latino's, Asian's, blacks and other minorities yet the podium winners are still lilly white...what gives?

    February 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. KK

    The SAG Awards have always been a truer indication of how the Academy will vote as the SAG Awards are voted on by actors. The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press and; therefore, are critics awards and not true indicators of how those "in the field" will vote. Regardless of how the awards shake out for the 2011 Oscars, I think it is naive to believe that this year's show had stood any chance of being exciting because, in my opinion, this was a lousy year for film. I think the Academy should go back to 5 Best Picture nominees for starters so that the Best Director category stands a chance of matching up (Christopher Nolon's omission is an outrage). Also, how about ruling out remakes as viable candidates for Best Picture? I know there is a love affair with the Cohen brothers and Hollywood (and I love them too) and that their version follows the book more closely, but it's not a truly original film. "Black Swan," and "Inception" both push the boundaries of our imaginations and "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," and "The Social Network" tell tales of known realities with epic performances by the male leads. No offense to Jeff Bridges (who I adore), but you are no John Wayne sir. As fans of film, why aren't we collectively challenging Hollywood to be more original? With so many remakes and sequels and prequels coming inthe near future, are we destine to have more Oscar races like this one - done before the first envelope has been opened?

    February 1, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. hip hop on pop

    Winter's Bone was the best movie of 2010, followed closely by Black Swan and The King's Speech. I disagree that The Social Network will be remembered in 10 or 20 years... it's cute, it's trendy, and it's forgettable, sort of like War Games was in 1983. (Remember those huge computers at NORAD?) In fact, no one will even remember Facebook a decade or two from now, any more than they'll remember 8-track tapes, laser discs, Napster, New Kids on the Block, Pepsi Free, New Coke, pay phones, pagers, or the fact that marijuana actually used to be illegal in the U.S.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      theres a problem with you theory here. Will it be forgotten 10 years from now? probably not. You say it won't be relevant 10 years from now, when the story it tells is already almost a decade old. that it has relevance now and has held the attention of so many is testament enough. The movies not about facebook. Its about the people who got caught up in it. Its about people who struggled with their relationships, its about backstabbing and its about rejection. None of these are things that go out of style. Also pot will not be legallized anytime soon. If it coulnd't get passed in California of all places, it won't pass anywhere else.

      February 1, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Demara

    James Franco deserved the Best Actor Oscar. Let's hoping the derps at the Academy come to their senses and pick the right people.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. phillip stacy

    An English monarch trying to overcome a stutter – what could be more boring? This is why I can never watch any awards program.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Richard Allen

    Oscars...they still hand those out?

    January 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bitnar

    At my job, we only have one Recognition Ceremony per period of time. There aren't multiple groups of people heaping praise on strangers. I would enjoy the movie awards much more if there was only one ceremony. It's just too much. Entertainment Weekly (a magazine I happen to love) will start predicting next years winners by March.

    January 31, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mark Hill

    Keep the dam brits in UK and the aussies in Kangaroo land. Immigration should not allow them to work here.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gale S Hanley

      You sir, are a bigoted ignoramus. That is all I have to say. It doesn't matter where an actor/actress come from. A good performance is a good performance.

      February 2, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. NotGoingtoTIFF2011

    While I haven't really watched the Awards in years – just too damn long people – I am so rooting for Colin Firth. I saw the King's Speech at TIFF and the audience reaction was amazing – specifically to Firth's performance. And his body of work over the years has been great – I know its not suppose to be about that – but I certainly think it plays in for the voters. And at least he keeps his name out of the gossip vine. That said, I would more agree if the Social Network pulled out a surpirse win for best picture. The only reason for me the Speech is a best pic nod is his and Rush's performances – not that I didn't enjoy, but in lesser actors hands it would have been just an ok film. Sometimes the actors elevate a film well beyond what I think it could have turned out to be.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Akash Singh-Knowledge is Power

    The Kin'g Speech, Black Swan, & Inception are far better films than the Social Network.
    Colin Firth and Natalie Portman most likely will get the Best Actors.
    Christian Bale and Melissa Leo will most likely nab the Best Supporting Actors.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TJ

    The only two movies worthy of Oscars this year is "Black Swan" and "The King's Speech". The rest is garbage...The End.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  16. NobodySpecial

    I said it before and I'll say it again:

    White-washed Hollywood = White-washed award shows

    Didn't see any of the movies nominated. Not even a single one. To me, looks like all white-washed garbage. I don't want to spend money seeing these. I'll just have to wait this year if something worthy of my $20.00 is out. From this list? Nada.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  17. MMS

    The King's Speech is a very good film, but it's simply that – a very good film. Nothing about it was particularly subversive or original. The Social Network, aside from being impeccably made, was thought-provoking, cutting-edge, and reflected so beautifully the fast-paced digital world we live in today. Great films come out all the time, but it's progressive ones like 'The Social Network' that we'll remember. Although I won't be surprised if the King's Speech cleans up at the Oscars, I'm really rooting for The Social Network and its cast and creative team.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ia bolz

    I meant to say: "I'm rooting for JESSE EISENBERG from THE SOCIAL NETWORK for Best Actor and THE SOCIAL NETWORK for Best Picture just like way back in '94 when I rooted for THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE & just like way back in '76 when I rooted for ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN."

    January 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  19. ia bolz

    Why in anyone's name would The Academy of Motion Pictures, etc. ( who hand out the Oscars) want to pick THE KING's SPEECH as Best Picture of 2010?!!? And want to pick COLIN FIRTH as Best Actor of 2010 for the same film? Well, I'll tell you why...most of the voting members will probably vote for this film because of its British royal storyline...most Americans love British royalty. And most of the voting members of The Academy do too. But sorry, THE KING's SPEECH is too trite a movie. If any British royal storyline film should have won Best Picture Oscar in its day, it should have been THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE when that film came out in 1994. It wasn't even nominated for Best Picture that year for gosh sakes! But NIGEL HAWTHORNE was nominated for his role as the "mad" King George III (not sure what number this King George was). And if I remember correctly, the most socially relevant film of its time, ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN, didn't pick up an Oscar for Best Picture in 1976. I'm rooting for JESSE EISENBERG from THE SOCIAL NETWORK for Best Actor and THE SOCIAL NETWORK for Best Picture just like way back in '94 when I rooted for THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE & in '94 when I rooted for ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN in '76.. Sometimes The Oscars just get it so wrong and I believe they will do just that this year. What a pity.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I respect your thoughts, but a clueless wonder you are.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh

      Well everyone's got their opinions right. I love The King's Speech, and not because I'm England's number one fan. Honestly I could care less about "royalty." I thought it was a great story, and fantastic acting- seriously fantastic. As for the Social Network, I thought it was just ok- boring really. Take away the soundtrack and you lose the drama. The actors were good and all, but the story was just kind of dull. Its a rich guy getting sued wearing sandals. I was certainly not moved in any way.

      February 1, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  20. guest

    Hahahahahahah Avatar robbed?! Really? It got best visual effects, which is about the only thing it deserved. Saving Private Ryan, yes. THAT was robbed. But The King's Speech is BETTER than the Social Network and we won't be crying in 10 years over it winning over TSN.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  21. ac

    Why hadn't an article like this come out a week before the Golden Globes? 3 weeks ago it seemed as though the social network would sweep everything. It had taken virtually everything up to and including the Globes. At least we had a dark horse come up and take over. Quit whining, and move on. The King's Speech is the better film anyway.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katharine

      The King's Speech, while a good movie, is totally conventional. It's the sort of thing that runs on Masterpiece Theatre (which is no dis mind you). The Social Network however is innovative, and just get's everything right. The knotty storyline, the score, the cinematography, the performances; everything just works perfectly. The rowing scene in the middle of the movie had me totally transfixed (first time I think anyone has deliberately used tilt-shift in a movie)–just a moment of pure cinematic eyeball/eardrum bliss. If you think The King's Speech is better than The Social Network, you're either 80 or didn't see it.

      January 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ben Dover

    I think the only exciting category will be Best Picture – likely a tight finish between The Social Network & The King's Speech. But I hope that my personal favourite, Black Swan, will get it...though very unlikely. PS – ten nominations is way too many for one category.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Victor Luna

    Star Wars,,Saving Private Ryan and Avatar were robbed off best picture Oscar...I don't even remember what movies beat them...Need I say more ?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Dover

      And how about The Shawshank Redemption! I agree that Avatar was robbed...The Hurt Locker was overrated.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mat

      Star Wars lost to Annie Hall. Saving Private Ryan was robbed though. It lost to Shakespeare in Love. Avatar, while pretty, was poorly written and didnt deserve an Oscar.

      And Shawshank was robbed too. Though Forrest Gump was pretty good.

      January 31, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Tara

    I don't even know of who half these people are.....The Talent that *Was* Hollywood is long gone...You just have a bunch of people, many under 25 that are being tossed in Hollywood as Celebrities and Stars by there markability...You don't need talent today, you just have to market yourself....Make a fool out of yourself and if that makes people pay attention and pay for you to be a fool..You can be a *star*....Thank Goodness I can youtube or netflix some of the movies of the Golden Era that have value and entertainment....

    January 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      I you want to see a really great movie – complete with plot, dialog and great acting.....just like we used to enjoy....go see "The King's Speech". You will laugh, you will feel sad, you will enjoy. No fools in this movie, only great actresses and actors.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katharine

      I bet you yell at kids who walk across your lawn too.

      Yeah there have been some fantastic, timeless movies made in the past, but many of them haven't aged well or were terribly slow (props to Orson Welles, but Citizen Kane is tedious and slooooow. Gone With the Wind however is still an engrossing movie. Casablanca==slooooow). Tastes change, but there are still good movies being made (and The Social Network will survive longer than The King's Speech).

      January 31, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotGoingtoTIFF2011

      Katharine I have to agree, I find a lot of the classic films have lost a lot over the years. My Mother can go on and on about Citizen Kane but that sucker puts me to sleep. And don't get me started on Doctor Z – don't ask me to spell it and I'm too lazy to look it up. Although still love watching GWTW – and can I admit that parts of Wizard of Oz still scare the crap out of me? And...have to say, stil love the musical – Hollywood hasn't done a good job of those since the 50's

      January 31, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chelle

      I have to agree with Pat. I saw The Kings Speech yesterday, and it was an extraordinary movie! It did not rely on stunts or special effects, just quality acting. There were times when the entire theater laughed, and I'm sure moments when they all got misty eyed. I wasn't watching actors, I was watching King George VI! It was a heartwarming movie that I highly recommend you see!

      January 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh

      yep because Collin Firth, Mallissa Leo and Christian Bale are totally only 25. come on.

      February 1, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  25. Doiiiiii

    Superbowl = Retarded Oscars

    January 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  26. ben

    im betting that javier bardem wins best actor. he was miles atop firth. and i say best director goes to fincher. best motion picture goes to social network

    January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Reallly? Did you see "The King's Speech"? I don't think so if you thing there was any better actor anywhere this year. The rest of your predictions are equally off.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic S

      I loved Javier Bardem's performance in Biutiful. But I think Colin Firth's role was the more challenging and probably required the greater acting stretch. Not Bardem's fault. Just two different roles. And unlike Pat, I fully respect your other picks.

      February 1, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  27. scottr

    why on earth does anyone care?? I love movies too but I really think that the barrels of money that actors/actresses earn (generally speaking) is sufficient compensation for their efforts. ..To then throw them a big party seems too much. Enough already. ...Am I the only one who feels this way?? C'mon, let's be honest. These are people who "pretend" to be someone else for a living. I agree that it's harder than it seems and that many are very talented but do they really deserve all this damn attention?

    January 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      I agree. It used to be that the only awards given out for movies were the Oscars. Now there are so many awards you can't count them all, and most are given before the Oscars, so by the time the Oscars come around, it is hard to care. Movies should be rated according to how well they do. Quality movies that don't have big box office aren't necessarily bad, but most of the time I have never heard of the best picture nominations. Who cares? Not me.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I assume you feel the same way about the MVP Award in all sports or any other sporting award. Or, for that matter, the Hall of Fame in any sport. Or, for that matter Employee of the Week at any job. Couldn't you argue the same exact point for all of those things? If you don't care – don't watch. It's pretty simple. But don't post about not caring, because all that proves is that you DO care and you have too much time on your hands. Just like me.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Scott, what's your line of work? Have you ever put in extra hours and a lot of extra effort on a project? Did you get a bonus? A certificate? A public thank-you from management? If so, didn't that make the effort more worthwhile? Why should actors not be rewarded now and then when they've done an exceptional job?

      January 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkyMark

      And yet here you are, reading and replying to an article on the Oscar race. Don't ask why on earth does anyone care when YOU obviously do!

      January 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottr


      Yes, I do feel the same way about sports awards shows! ..Like actors, athletes compensation has gotten totally out of hand. And I do NOT blame athletes or actors for this. ..It our fault for paying outrageous ticket prices and for rewarding advertisers by buying their products. ..But after paying $75 to take my family to a movie, or $350 for an NFL game, I don't think we need to further honor these people with a glitzy award show. For god sakes, how much attention and affirmation do they need?

      Denizen Kate:
      Of course there is nothing wrong with an employer recognizing/ rewarding employees at a banquet, etc... ...But the scale of the oscars, ESPN, Golden Globes, etc... make any such comparison b/w the two very silly.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Nic S

      Scott, let me ask you this: if the awards shows weren't televised, would you have a problem with them? Then it would just be something done by the industry for people in the industry, and we wouldn't really have to hear about it. I don't think we should blame people for spending money on the movies, but rather blame the people for being obsessed with celebrities and wanting to see them all dressed up. I love movies, and I like knowing which films are being critically praised, but I don't need to watch celebrities walking down a red carpet, so I just don't watch that stuff.

      As for the prices of movies, they really aren't that bad if you're a single person. Something costs millions of dollars to make plus who knows how many man hours, and I get to go see this piece of art for only $11 ($9 with my student discount) and I'm entertained and provoked for at least an hour and a half. For me that's a heck of a good deal. (Plus I rarely buy movie food.) I probably spend at least $400 on movies a year (which doesn't include my netflix or my cable bill) and what I get out of it is worth every penny to me.

      February 1, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Red

      Dont worry about it Scott – some folks have nothing more in their lives except the sense of adulation for these folks who PRETEND to do all the stuff they do. I enjoy good acting as well but actors (and sports players) are all in the same category. They act out for the camera.

      February 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  28. Cheryl

    Of course, it's already over. It's over as soon as the Golden Globes winners are announced. The Academy Awards are becoming ilrelevant.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      Not true. I was sure in 2008 that Mickey Rourke would win Best Actor for "The Wrestler" when he won the Golden Globe (and he totally should have.) But, alas, Sean Penn won for "Milk" (Good movie, but not as good as The Wrestler, and Penn's performance, while great, was nowhere near Rourke's.) So just because the Golden Globes have come and gone, don't automatically pencil those winners in. Surprises do sometimes happen.

      January 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark in nyc

      the whole awards concept is outdated. nothing matters, other than how much a studio pays for to have their favorites win.

      January 31, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Keli

    I agree. I think the Oscars will definitely be a repeat of the SAGs... I think all of the actors were deserving of their awards last night, so I would expect to see a similar outcome.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      yep, the sag awards are (almost) always the same for oscar, same for the other guilds, the dga winner will win, same for wga, the only 'mystery' on oscar night is best pic, and you can figure that out sometimes by who wins the others. all this makes the oscars so much more a waste of time.

      February 1, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |

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