The SAG and DGA awards were given out this past weekend, solidifying The King’s Speech‘s likely win for Best Picture come February 27th. With all the critics awards going to The Social Network, everybody (including me) assumed that it would continue its streak into the Guilds. How wrong we were. The end result of the tides turning has been a seemingly endless heap of insults being thrown at Hooper’s historical drama. It’s certainly everybody’s right to express their opinions and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who legitimately hate the film or are strongly against it’s probable win. Personally, I would pick several of the films nominated to win over The King’s Speech. Am I slightly annoyed about this change of pace? A little. Am I actively upset about it? No. To put this much emphasis on what the AMPAS has to say is a grave error. Awards season should be fun, it should provoke some worthwhile discussions and then put to rest so we can continue seeking out films of all different kinds to partake in and enjoy. What it shouldn’t be is an endless bashing of one film in favor of another as if the merits of the films themselves hang in the balance of this one context. The King’s Speech is no longer being judged on its own merits or quality. The only frame of mind linked to the film now is “Should it win Best Picture?” When the answer is unsurprisingly no, the film is discarded and any value it has shrinks in the shadow of the all too “important” question. This kind of thinking, in my opinion, destroys the entire point of watching film AND it suggests that anyone thinking this way genuinely puts a lot of stock into what the Academy thinks. Unless this is the late 1960’s when the Academy’s choice actually represented a recognition of a drastic cultural and cinematic shift, then it is ultimately irrelevant what they think. Of course we want them to recognize our favorites of the year; it’s natural. However, being in a frame of mind where the AMPAS’ decision for Best Picture matters so much that a film has to be unnecessarily lampooned by so many, only emphasizes the stereotype that bloggers have way too much time on their hands. Surely there are more worthwhile and relevant things going on in the world to get this upset over. I recognize that I get upset about the Academy’s decisions just like everyone else; I won’t be hypocritical and deny that. I also am very happy when films I love get the recognition from them they deserve. I used to put so much emphasis on the AMPAS; I have since learned better.
I have a long way to go before my writing is anywhere near where I want it to be. There is an article I’d like to point out about this very subject that is put so much more succinctly and accurately than I could have ever articulated. I URGE anybody who has somehow made their way to this post to read it.