October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

‘The King’s Speech’ dominates during busy awards weekend: AWARDS SEASON ROUNDUP

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: From an awards perspective, Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” completely dominated the weekend, shifting the Oscar momentum away from David Fincher’s “The Social Network” for the time being. “Speech” won the Ensemble trophy at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, the night after Hooper won top prize from the Directors Guild.

As the dust settles from a busy awards weekend, we take a run through the Oscar commentators to see what they’re saying about the state of the race.

“The Screen Actors Guild‘s best ensemble award is the equivalent of the Oscar best picture. ‘The King’s Speech’ wins it, along with Colin Firth for best actor. ‘The Fighter‘s’ Melissa Leo and Christian Bale win the supporting category. And best actress goes to ‘Black Swan‘s’ Natalie Portman. It will probably be thus on Oscar night,” writes Anne Thompson. “But the races can shift over time. Firth and Bale can’t lose. And ‘The King’s Speech’ is backed by the wily Harvey Weinstein. … That battle for best picture is far from over. And Annette Bening has a chance of catching up with Portman. But something tells me she won’t pull out the stops in her campaigning, much as she stayed cool at the [Santa Barbara] tribute Friday night. She’s too classy for that.”

“Even after the PGA win and huge tally of Oscar nominations for ‘The King’s Speech,’ I felt that there was still insufficient evidence to suggest that it was the new frontrunner, since the DGA has tended to mean considerably more than anything, and I was quite confident that Fincher would be rewarded by his fellow directors,” said Scott Feinberg. “But, in light of the DGA (and SAG) results, I now have just as little cause to project ‘The Social Network’ as others did when they were projecting ‘The King’s Speech’ before this past week’s developments. The bottom line — like it or not — is that the Oscar landscape has shifted considerably over the past week.”

Much to the dismay of Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone, an unabashed “Social Network” supporter. “Something I personally thought was all but impossible is coming true,” Stone writes. “I said on my last Oscar Poker podcast that if Tom Hooper won the DGA I would quit. The reason being, not out of disgust — it is their choice, their club, their statuette. But because it would show that I learned absolutely nothing in the eleven years I’ve been doing this website. And that is absolutely true: I know nothing.”

Well said.

Add Jeff Wells to the list of indignant Oscar columnists who take the race far too personally. Under the headline, “Yeah, I Get It,” Wells writes, “’The King’s Speech’ has won SAG’s Best Ensemble award, thus triple-confirming the inevitable Best Picture win. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Actually they probably do know what they do and don’t give a shit about the judgment of history.”

But Tom O’Neil of Gold Derby puts the icing on the cake, stating, “When ‘The King’s Speech’ won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble, it was a key jewel in the crown it will likely wear on Oscar night. … Now that ‘The King’s Speech’ has demonstrated consistent strength across three sections of filmmaking – producing, directing and acting – it’s clear that it has the broad support needed to win Best Picture at the Oscars. … What’s behind the sudden shift? Most likely, it has to do with the sensibility of the voters. Nearly all of the top awards won by ‘The Social Network’ were bestowed by film journalists, who tend to like cool, trendy films that are cynical, gritty and void of sentimentality. The guild awards and Oscars, however, are bestowed by members of the film industry, who love tear-jerkers. … ‘The King’s Speech’ is an unabashed weepie that also fits the old Oscar preference for historical dramas like ‘The English Patient’ (1996), ‘The Last Emperor’ (1987), ‘Out of Africa’ (1985) and ‘Amadeus’ (1984). Historical dramas haven’t done well at the Oscars recently, leaving some experts to believe that they’ve fallen out of vogue, but ‘The King’s Speech’ proves that they’ve regained power.”

HollywoodNews.com’s Awards Season Roundup collects insights from around the Internet on films that are running in the Oscar race.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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