It is always this time of year when you know for sure whether a film is going to finish the race as the “winner” or not. The Producers Guild has, for the last two years anyway, been the turning point. The Globes come and go and one year it was Avatar and the next year it was The Social Network. Then the Producers Guild honored The Hurt Locker, and the Producers Guild honored The King’s Speech and such was the signal that it was all over but the shouting. It was especially exciting when The Hurt Locker won because everyone naturally assumed that the movie that made the most money in the race (Avatar) would beat the movie that made the least (The Hurt Locker). The Hurt Locker had been winning on the strength of Kathryn Bigelow’s underdog status, being a woman, and the simple fact that she had the better movie. But The King’s Speech beating The Social Network, Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter and True Grit? There was something else at play. There was profit, sure, but there was also low cost and there was also those swollen hearts. Everybody felt sorry for the stuttering King who couldn’t give a speech, his friendship with his teacher, and on and on and on it went. Masterpiece Theater for the ages. The King’s Speech wasn’t a bad film. It was a very very good film. It just wasn’t better than the best film. But hey, Rocky was a great film too. It just wasn’t better than Network. It just wasn’t better than Taxi Driver. It just wasn’t better than All the President’s Men. Time helped us to see that year more clearly but at the time, there was no stopping Rocky. Rocky and The King’s Speech are very similar in that way. You’re always going to find people who respond, still, to both movies. That the greater movies were nominated alongside them also speaks well of the Academy for noticing at all.