social media

Facebook floundering a right royal triumph for the Oscars

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Monday, February 28 2011

It is cool to be British again.

Hollywood has hailed the stiff up lip by bestowing four Oscars on The King's Speech at last night's Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.

Even though the nods for Best Director for Tom Hooper, Best Picture, Best Actor for Colin Firth and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler were all entirely deserved, there were fears the academy might not want to reward a Brit flick too much.

This fear was made all the more strong by the fact The King's Speech had such huge competition from an equally deserving film: The Social Network.

In many less fruitful years for quality movies, The Social Network would have cleaned up. The story of how Mark Zuckerberg developed social networking site Facebook and the lawsuits which followed amounted to an instant classic in my book.

It was the story of a phenomenon which has grown to affect so many people's lives. If you do not have a Facebook account yourself I bet you know at least five people who have one.

Also, I felt a particular fascination with the film as it begins at exactly the time I went to university myself. The online revolution which spread through the halls of Harvard University spread through the student digs of myself and my peers. When I joined Facebook you HAD to be a university student. Only after a few years (and the realisation from the board they could make a heck of a lot of money) was membership opened to the whole world.

In short, the story was captivating because of the relationship I had with the film. Yet equally many stammerers would have had the same relationship with The King's Speech.

Ultimately the lead character appeals more in the latter. The audience were willing Colin Firth's King George VI through every word of his address to the nation whereas the dubious motivations of Jesse Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg make him a difficult character to relate to. The audience feel more of a fascination than an affinity with him.

These factors all add up to make The King's Speech the marginally better film and thus deserving of the awards. Yet it must have been tempting for the academy to reward a film which recognises an American institution, rather than a British one.

With the royal wedding around the corner, the fact the royal family are very 'in' at the moment may have been a factor.

But in this instance perhaps we just have to give the royal seal of approval to the academy. They gave the awards to the tale of the stammering king's triumph over adversity, without hesitation.

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Categories: Celebrities | Entertainment | Film | Royal | Showbiz | social media

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