Standing Side by Side

By: Chris Cummins
Staff Writer

There are two schools of thought regarding the Oscars. If a film that embodies classical values, numbers among its characters a hero set against enormous personal or physical obstacles, and contains a rousing, optimistic finish, it is viewed as a “classic” film. If it wins the Best Picture Award, then the Academy is viewed as picking a classic film, and it generally assumed that the older members deemed it so. If a film is not composed of the above elements, and is sufficiently well directed, edgy, and controversial, then it is viewed as a “young and hip” film. This year, the battle for Best Picture was between The King’s Speech, and the Social Network. The King’s Speech, combining British accents, opposition towards the Nazi’s, and English royalty, is an archetype for the first sort of Oscar wining film, and stood in stark contrast to the Social Network, a quick cut, almost pastiche of rapid fire dialogue and biting wit, suffused with the story behind the creation of one of the most popular websites of all time, and immediately controversial.

This year, the King’s Speech won, making the year one of “classic” film, and sparking debate as to whether the Academy was growing indifferent to a changing world, and insulated from the world at large. This is foolish, to be honest. The King’s Speech is a great movie, just as the Social Network is, and whether one won or not is a matter of personal preference. The Award, as it has been unfortunately as of late, should not be politicized, or given out in a faltering attempt to gauge the future of films as a medium. It should be given out, as it’s name implies, to the best movie, and this year, the King’s Speech was that.

To learn more about the King’s Speech, go to: http://oscar.go.com/nominations/category/best-picture/synopsis/the-kings-speech/687093

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