Oscars: Special-interest groups speak out on “Speech,” “True Grit”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, Feb. 27. Ballots have been turned in, so there isn’t much more we can do regarding the lengthy awards race except sit back, wait … and see what a few special interest groups have to say about their favorite Best Picture nominees.

“‘The King’s Speech’ has truly given a voice to the voiceless, hope to those who had none, and courage to those who struggle daily to be heard,” said Stuttering Foundation President Jane Fraser in a release this morning.

The foundation has shown steady support for Tom Hooper’s period drama for months, and used this last frame ahead of the Oscar ceremony to let audience members know, once again, how pleased they are at the dialogue “Speech” has stimulated.

“By enlightening the public to the challenges that people who stutter face, ‘The King’s Speech’ has raised awareness to a level never before seen and won the heartfelt support of the 68 million people who stutter worldwide,” Fraser said. “This movie is far more than just entertainment to people who stutter. Our world has truly been turned upside down.”

From the serious to the lighter side of entertainment … unless, of course, you’ve been bit by a snake.

One company who sells a medication for snakebites claims that Joel and Ethan Coen’s Best Picture-nominated “True Grit” perpetuates the “Hollywood myth” of snakebites by having Jeff Bridges’ character, Rooster Cogburn, doing “precisely the opposite of proper snakebite protocol, although the hero does get it right when it comes to the need for speed in seeking immediate treatment.”

“Although nowadays we don’t cut and suck snakebites like the cowboys used to do, Rooster knew the best thing for Mattie was to get her to a doctor as fast as he could,” said Sean Bush, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA.

“The same is true today. The difference now is that there is a treatment to prevent the progression of a venomous pit viper bite.”

They do know this is a movie, right?

And speaking of movies, the man whose life story led to Danny Boyle’s Best Picture-nominated “127 Hours” will be speaking at his college, Carnegie Mellon University, during the school’s May 15 commencement ceremony.

Alumnus Aron Ralston notoriously amputated his own limb after being trapped beneath a boulder in Utah. Think he has a few good stories to spin about perseverance and determination?

“Aron’s incredible story has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to millions around the world,” said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. “He turned grave adversity into a learning and teaching experience for all of us. I know our graduates will enjoy and greatly benefit from hearing Aron speak.”

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