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Don’t “like” The Social Network too much just yet, as the film, once considered the locked-in frontrunner for the Academy Award for best picture (having won all of the critics’ awards) has been thoroughly shaken by the aristocratic crowd-pleaser The King’s Speech.
After an auspicious run of definitive sweeps in critic’s circles, the forerunning string of “Guild” awards has ultimately ousted David Fincher’s The Social Network from a certain top spot finale. The King’s Speech delicately swept the top awards for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, The Producers Guild Awards and the superstitiously-linked Directors Guild Awards (the winner of the latter almost always goes on to win the Oscar). Tom Hooper took the DGA award after Fincher won nearly all previous honors.
Though the tide has by all means surged towards Colin Firth’s superbly acted period piece, I would still minutely lean towards The Social Network given that it has had significantly more time to accumulate its buzz and has managed to elevate its inaugural favour for months following its initial release; though never underestimate The Academy’s love for a lavishly mounted period drama.
For once, the Oscar race could be a close one, and considering the stunning box office success of seven of the ten nominees (9/10 if you’re looking at budget, with 127 Hours being the questionable exception) this could also rank as one of the most popular ceremonies in recent years.