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Oscar Talk: King's Speech Sweep vs. Inception, Social Network, and Alice, Foreign and Shorts Picks

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 18, 2011 at 4:34AM

On this week's Oscar Talk (podcast is below), Kris Tapley and I get a tad testy as Oscar season takes its toll. Kris insists that The King's Speech will dominate the categories (unlike the BAFTAs) and therefore does not throw out my Helena Bonham Carter theory. He sees Tom Hooper, I see David Fincher for best director. I believe that the actors love The King's Speech much as they did Shakespeare in Love, while bigger-scale pictures such as The Social Network, Inception and Alice in Wonderland could pick up some tech Oscars. (We'll see what wins this Saturday's ACE editing award.)
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Thompson on Hollywood

On this week's Oscar Talk (podcast is below), Kris Tapley and I get a tad testy as Oscar season takes its toll. Kris insists that The King's Speech will dominate the categories (unlike the BAFTAs) and therefore does not throw out my Helena Bonham Carter theory. He sees Tom Hooper, I see David Fincher for best director. I believe that the actors love The King's Speech much as they did Shakespeare in Love, while bigger-scale pictures such as The Social Network, Inception and Alice in Wonderland could pick up some tech Oscars. (We'll see what wins this Saturday's ACE editing award.)

We debate the merits of all the foreign entries, agreeing that Susanne Bier's well-acted father-son drama In a Better World is the best film, but will it win? We see a three-way race: two tragic family stories, Biutiful, which boasts best actor nominee Javier Bardem, and Incendies, a twisted mystery that packs a powerful emotional punch, are also battling for the Gold in an always tough category to call.

We'd both love to see Banksy, whose street Oscar campaign has grabbed plenty of media attention, to take away the documentary Oscar for Exit Through the Gift Shop, just to see what kind of prank the reclusive artist would pull--and wish the Academy would relax already! But seriously, frontrunner Charles Ferguson's Inside job and Afghan war film Restrepo also deserve to win (and screeners are on the way for the docs I have not yet seen).

Of the animated shorts, we also agree that Pixar's entry Day & Night could score, but Kris picks Madagascar for the upset in that category, while I peg Australian steam punk short The Lost Thing as a magical spoiler.

This article is related to: Awards, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.