October takes me by surprise every year. I think that things are cruising along at a manageable level and then, wham! October brings Oscar season proper and with it, the good, the bad and the ugly. It didn’t take long for word from last night’s Academy screening of The Social Network to hit the web. The reports varied slightly but somehow the same cast of characters showed up – the odd person who was enthusiastic about it, the odd person who said it lacked emotional something or other, and the odd person who mentioned The King’s Speech as the frontrunner. Pete Hammond at Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter gave slightly upbeat reports, that the Academy members were as entertained by the film as audiences have been.
Could it be that there are possibly forces out already to take down The Social Network’s unstoppable force? Count on it. And it isn’t only rival studios that will attempt to float info that will change the perception of the film – it will be anyone and everyone. Once the Oscar year finishes, the film can finally rest in peace. But by the end of it, it resembles nothing so much as the Bonnie and Clyde car.¬†¬† You’ll know the minute The King’s Speech truly becomes the frontrunner because it will get the same treatment. Such is just part of the game of Oscar.
Some things never change.
It is worth noting that reports from Academy screenings, from my experience, are mostly unreliable. I know some people rely heavily on them but in the last few years I’ve gotten so many false reports that it’s difficult to take them seriously; I have never thought films were won in screenings anyway. Some are. But many are won on screeners because many voting members just don’t have the time to get to a theater. Therefore, screening reports are only half of the eventual story.