Why ‘The King’s Speech’ Shouldn’t Win Best Picture But Will Anyway

I’ve accepted the fact that my favorite movie of the year rarely wins Best Picture at the Oscars. The last time it happened was 2006 with The Departed.

There are plenty of other deserving nominees, that if they take the top prize, I’m fine with it. Unfortunately the last two years, the Academy has given it to mediocre films, and it looks like its going to happen again on Sunday with The King’s Speech. It particularly ticks me off this year because we had some truly phenomenal films, and this is the movie that’s going to win? *Sigh*

First of all, why do I think the King’s Speech is mediocre? The movie has three good scenes; the opening, the ending, and the first meeting between Bertie, eventually King George VI, (Colin Firth) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). That’s it. There is nothing else extraordinary about this movie. It’s boring, excruciatingly repetitive, and bland. The acting is very good, and I’ll give you that Colin Firth should probably win Best Actor in a weak category this year. But otherwise, this is just not interesting. I’m sorry.

Now let’s compare it to the other Best Picture nominees and really break down why this is inferior compared to everything else. First of all, I think Tge King’s Speech is better than Winter’s Bone and 127 Hours, so we’ll leave those out of it.

The first set of nominees I’ll compare it to are movies I still don’t think deserve to win, but are still better. What makes a movie great and deserving of Best Picture should have multiple memorable/great characters and scenes. The Kids Are All Right maybe has one truly memorable scene in the end, but it has five great characters as opposed to The King’s Speech’s two very good ones. They are 50 times more interesting to watch and observe.

While True Grit is boring for a lot of the film, it’s got three great characters and several suspenseful scenes that truly put you on the edge of your seat. And I get these are very different films, but the suspense in True Grit trumps the bland emotional conflict scenes of The King’s Speech by a long shot. It’s also a hell of a lot better directed.

And finally there’s The Fighter. I’m not crazy about it as a whole, but not only does that film have three great characters, the acting of Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams isn’t just great — it’s fricking unbelievable. Colin Firth is good, but he is not at the level of these three performances. And getting back to the emotional conflict scenes, the ones in The Fighter take The King’s Speech‘s scenes out back to a wood shed and beats the hell out of them.

But now let’s get into the real shit. The remaining nominees (Inception, Black Swan, Toy Story 3, and The Social Network) are all deserving of winning Best Picture. Inception is my personal favorite movie of the year. It has everything a great movie should have: characters, story, acting, directing, etc.

Christopher Nolan built a nine-story house of cards and it didn’t fall over throughout the whole movie. Black Swan is the exact opposite of The King’s Speech — anything but boring. When you can take a story about ballet and get guys to say, “Holy shit, that was amazing,” I think you’ve made a movie that truly is impactful. Natalie Portman’s performance is legendary. The bottom-line: Inception and Black Swan gave movie-goers an experience that people talked about for days and days after. After I saw The King’s Speech, I thought about what I was going to have for lunch.

As far as Toy Story 3 goes, I’ll just leave it like this: It’s the highest grossing movie of the year and scored a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The End.

But finally I want to compare The King’s Speech to The Social Network, which I think is the biggest indictment against Speech winning. Let’s examine the plot of these films. The King’s Speech is about the up and coming King of England who stutters and can’t make public speeches. The Social Network is about the creation of a famous website. These films both sound boring. Maybe they are moderately interesting, but no way could sustain a two-hour movie. The fact of the matter is, director David Fincher makes his movie far more interesting and dramatic then Tom Hooper makes his movie. I will never see The King’s Speech again, whereas The Social Network I watched in back-to-back nights. Enough said.

I’ve accepted the fact that The King’s Speech will win Best Picture, but if Hooper beats Fincher for Best Director, that’s really ridiculous.

Well, another year, and another probable mediocre Best Picture Oscar winner. You probably think I hate The King’s Speech, but I think its okay — just not a Best Picture winner, not even close. But should we really be surprised? The King’s Speech is a boring dry period piece set around World War II …an Oscar favorite.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.


  1. I totally disagree with a lot of what you say, including that it will win Best Picture as I believe your favorite will win.

  2. I AGREE!!!! TKS was one of the most dry, monotonous movies I have ever seen. Normally I can see why certain movies get the hype they do even if I don’t think they’re the best film, but this hype around this movies mystifies me. I don’t even think the speech at the end was that good. He was in an enclosed room, it’s not like he was standing in front of a huge crowd.

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