As ballots go out, Dave Karger has written down his standings, how he thinks Oscars 2010 will go. The only problem with it, of course, is that he uses information that isn’t all there:
But I keep reminding myself that Oscar voters are not critics. If they were, then L.A. Confidential would have beaten Titanic. And Brokeback Mountain would have won over Crash. (Of course, critics and Academy members line up sometimes too, as they did last year with The Hurt Locker.) The only group to announce so far with a voting body that overlaps with the Academy is the Screen Actors Guild, and I find it interesting that Network earned only two nominations compared to four for Speech or The Fighter. I keep hearing from many Academy members who absolutely adore The King‚Äôs Speech. Can The Social Network win Best Picture on Feb. 27? Of course it can. Particularly if voters decide they want an American film to win. But until it picks up significant guild support, I‚Äôm not ready to swap my rankings.
Just a few things – Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker and The Departed all went into the SAG with two nominations.¬† My argument for Dave wouldn’t necessarily be The King Speech vs. The Social Network, but rather The Fighter, Toy Story 3, True Grit AND The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network. All good movies with their strengths.¬† It’s true that Academy voters are different from critics. They work in the industry, they vote for their friends.¬† Are they really voting in a vacuum, ignoring in mass (there are 5,755 voting members) what critics and others think? Perhaps. But think about that number: 5,755.
If Dave thinks the only reason they want to give The Social Network Best Picture is because it’s an American story, with all due respect, I think he has another think coming. Movies that work on every level as this one does, ferociously written, expertly directed, well acted — you don’t just walk by them. No one who works in Hollywood would walk by this one.
Also, things changed after Brokeback Mountain.¬† As an Oscar watcher, one must evolve with those changes. Improvise, adapt, overcome.
Finally, LA Confidential had Titanic breathing down its neck. And, as we like to say around here, you’re only as good as the Best Picture you’re standing next to. It isn’t enough to just be a really good movie. You have to be better than the others. A lot better.
Dave’s other standings for the win:
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, Fighter