'The King's Speech' Crowned Best Picture

Guy Benson
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Posted: Feb 28, 2011 8:49 AM
Last night I slogged through more than three hours of celebrities congratulating each other -- a Hollywood ritual better known as the Academy Awards.  Why willingly endure such an ordeal?  I wanted to see if the finest film I've seen in recent memory would receive the recognition it deserves.  It did:

The King's Speech reigned at the 83rd annual Academy Awards Sunday night, when it took the prize for best picture against such rivals as The Social Network. The British drama also collected three other awards for best actor Colin Firth, director Tom Hooper and screenwriter David Seidler.The King's Speech reigned at the 83rd annual Academy Awards Sunday night, when it took the prize for best picture against such rivals as The Social Network. The British drama also collected three other awards for best actor Colin Firth, director Tom Hooper and screenwriter David Seidler.

Michael Medved captures why millions of moviegoers, including yours truly, were enthralled by The King's Speech:

The movie tells the true story of George VI of Britain, who struggled with a serious stammer until, with help from an unconventional speech therapist, he managed to rally his people during World War II. Aside from superb acting by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, the film highlights the King’s devoted wife, played by Helena Bonham Carter, and two adorable daughters, one of whom is the current Queen Elizabeth. It provides an emotional high by conveying life’s two greatest joys: the blessings of friendship and family, as well as the thrill of rising to the occasion and doing your duty for a greater cause. Though rated R for brief harsh language, few artistic experiences offer a more affirmative message.

Overall, I found the awards ceremony insipid and awkward.  Beyond their roles in the clever and humorous pre-produced opening sequence, the evening's hosts disappointed.  Ann Hathaway came across as lovely and likeable, but not especially funny; her co-host James Franco seemed jaded and smug -- an unappealing combination.

Congratulations to all of this year's Oscar winners.


UPDATE - Here's the official trailer for the best picture of 2010, in case you haven't seen it and might be interested in what all the fuss is about.  Masterful: