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AWARDS WEEKEND: ‘King’s Speech’ Rewrites The Oscar Race

The Screen Actors and Directors Guilds turn anti-’Social’ as the Academy Awards loom.

AWARDS WEEKEND: 'King's Speech' Rewrites The Oscar Race

The King’s Speech ruled this weekend, earning top accolades at two major awards shows and possibly turning former Oscar frontrunner The Social Network into an also-ran. David Fincher’s film was shut out of both the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) awards and the Director’s Guild of American (DGA) awards in favor of The King’s Speech, which until now had come up short in most awards competitions. Tom Hooper took home the DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, and the SAG awards presented the cast with its equivalent of a Best Picture prize: Best Ensemble Cast. 

Both awards are seen as solid prognosticators of Oscar glory, particularly the DGA which has accurately predicted all but six Best Director Oscar recipients since its inception in 1949. The oddsmakers are taking notice, since Best Director and Best Picture usually go hand-in-hand at the Academy Awards. There is still hope for other nominees however: half of the directors who took home an Oscar but not a DGA award were from the last 15 years (Mel Gibson, Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski), so the Academy may be slowly leaning away from this trend. The SAG awards are less accurate in foretelling Oscar victory, but the Screen Actor’s Guild is the largest voting body in the Academy so their preferences could be highly favored.

Colin Firth continued to his winning streak, cementing his place as an Oscar shoe-in with a SAG award for Best Actor. Natalie Portman took home a Best Actress award for Black Swan, giving her yet another edge over her biggest competition: Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right. Christian Bale, also considered an Oscar lock, took home Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter. The Best Supporting Actress category was considered quite a race this year, but Melissa Leo took the lead with a SAG award for The Fighter, placing her at the top of the pack come Oscar time.

The King’s Speech also took home the Producer’s Guild of America award a week ago. The Oscar race just got a lot more interesting. CRAVE Online will be back with more developments as the 2011 Oscar marathon continues.