‘King’s Speech’ wins in PGA shocker

Posted by · 10:29 pm · January 22nd, 2011

Tonight’s PGA awards were the first stab at the preferential ballot for this year’s Best Picture hopefuls.  The big winner in the feature film field was…oh my…“The King’s Speech.”

Considering this is a beefy organization (not quite as big as AMPAS but big) and its nominees are likely to match the Best Picture 10 pretty closely, I’d say this is one of the fairest indications of how things could play out in five weeks.  Last year, remember, the PGA went for “The Hurt Locker” rather than $2 billion grosser “Avatar.” I think it will prove, more and more, to be a reliable indicator, as long as it shares this voting method and breadth of nominees with the Academy.

So does that apply this year?  Is there a major swinging of the pendulum under way?  Who knows.  And there is still the increasingly strong possibility of “The Fighter” taking the SAG ensemble prize.  Perhaps at the end of the day we’ll have a phase two to remember.

Check out the full list of theatrical and honorary PGA award winners at The Circuit.

[Photo: The Weinstein Company]

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119 responses so far

  • 1 1-23-2011 at 4:45 pm

    matsunaga said...

    I think the main reason why The King’s Speech is getting a pretty solid hold at the box-office is because of “word of mouth”… I mean, people won’t watch it for three weeks running at the box-office without seeing anything great or at least good about it…

  • 2 1-23-2011 at 4:55 pm

    Andrej said...


    “Yes he’s a star, a Popstar, not a movie star…”

    Tomato, Tomatoe.

  • 3 1-23-2011 at 7:57 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I’m guessing the David O. Selznick prize was big enough for Rudin this year so they decided to give the big prize to TKS instead. That, and Rudin’s votes were split between TSN and TG.

  • 4 1-23-2011 at 8:30 pm

    The Dude said...

    I have a feeling we’ll know who our winner is at the SAG awards. Let’s face it…everyone is expecting Fincher to take the DGA and TKS to break the bank at the BAFTAs. The SAG ensemble, however, is a bit up in the air. True, many are predicting “The Fighter.” However, if the SAG goes to TSN or TKS, I think THAT movie will be the frontrunner for Oscar. If it goes to “The Fighter,” then I think TSN will have a slight edge (due to it’s sweep of the season).

    All I know is that it makes me sad that, in what I thought to be a GREAT year for movies, it’s boiled down to two…I was hoping to see more movies to be at least in the conversation of winning best picture.

  • 5 1-23-2011 at 8:33 pm

    Simone said...

    I’m happy that The King’s Speech won the PGA. I missed it at TIFF, but I’m going to see it this week. And I’ll watch TSN as well.

  • 6 1-23-2011 at 9:03 pm

    darklayers said...

    But Dude, the SAG ensemble isn’t preferential ballot! =)

    I don’t know that a SAG win for “Fighter” helps TSN. Recall that pundits had King’s Speech ahead prior to “The Social Network” sweep of the critics awards. I think what TSN had going for it was “it has SO MANY WINS” or “It’s inevitable!” A victory from the Fighter doesn’t reinforce a spirit of that sort. Also, the view you present doesn’t take into account the number of nominations, a measure that will likely favor “The King’s Speech.”

  • 7 1-23-2011 at 9:21 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I feel like: since The King’s Speech won the PGA, and if The Fighter wins SAG, and if The King’s Speech wins BAFTA … here I go …

    a lot of older AMPAS voters (or voters, in general) won’t feel bad about not voting for The Social Network. I get the impression that The Social Network is “expected” to win based on all the critical success; whether or not people like the film or even see it (within the Academy).

    Is there anything to what I said? I’m in the dark as far as knowing the undercurrents of how AMPAS voters vote. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that tons of voters love The Social Network, and it may very well win. It’s just my latest theory (I see to have a new one every day, haha). Am I thinking incorrectly? Kris? Guy? Whomever?

  • 8 1-23-2011 at 9:24 pm

    JJ1 said...

    That sounded flimsy. I’m sure nearly all of the 5,500+ have “seen” The Social Network. But I feel like a portion of the Academy may think the film is too much of a front runner, or too confusing (facebook/internet), or that it’s skewed too young, or what not. And their pressure may be off to vote for somethng else they’re more attuned to IF other accessible movies (TKS, The Fighter) catch some guild fire.

  • 9 1-23-2011 at 9:26 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Having said ALL of this, I’m sure ‘most’ voters just vote for what they love. Just spinning the wheels.

  • 10 1-23-2011 at 11:32 pm

    darklayers said...

    JJ, I totally get what you’re saying and I would add something to that mix. In addition to the young/frontrunner thing, and maybe more relevent to love most, is that TSN might not forge powerful emotional connections.

    I see a variant of this idea in different places. “Deep Vote” (Scott Feinberg’s blog) had “The Social Network” really high up among prospective contenders, but said he wished that there was one likable character. Tom Shone described heart/emotion as the critical factor in deeming “Toy Story 3” the best movie of the year over “The Social Network.” Finally, Kris tweeted “A friend just said something interesting, unprompted: “I thought TSN was a good movie, I just didn’t like it.” I actually hear that a lot.

    Now we don’t have surveys of AMPAS (or guild members) or focus groups to tease out the extent or breadth of that sentiment, but it seems to exist, and if a lot of AMPAS members feel that way then I think it plays out on the terms JJ outlined. When alternatives get substantial recognition, they may feel less obliged to support TSN strongly.

    That said, I understand “The King’s Speech” is well likable, but TSN doesn’t strike me as polarizing like “Avatar” or say “Black Swan.”

    Oh and Paul Outlaw, it may be too late for me to ask this, but given your comments on Bening and pick for ensemble: does that stuff about Bening getting a lot of attention and the overdue line matter, in light of Julianne Moore’s work in “Kids?”

  • 11 1-24-2011 at 5:39 am

    JJ1 said...

    Thanks, darklayers. I mean, like I said, who knows? And good question for Paul Outlaw.

  • 12 1-24-2011 at 6:59 am

    tunktunk said...

    I am glad TSN sweep is over. I loved the movie, but I cannot understand the sweep. Was it “the best movie” with everything else paling in comparison? I don’t think so. It was a good movie, but not groundbreaking, innovative, etc that its fans claim it to be.

    I feel like in the last few years, all the critics and Golden Globe and other awards started giving out awards for the pure reason of predicting the Oscar, having a front runner and awarding it, instead of awarding different movies and really by the time Oscars are handed out I am already bored. I know last year GG went to The Avatar, but that was because they though The Avatar was unbeatable. I miss the days when they chose The Hours or something else, not because it was to movie to go, because it was a worthy movie. Spread the love!

    PGA changed the dynamics. I am hoping SAG will go to either TKS or The Fighter. DGA, IMO should go to Nolan. Let’s shake things up a bit. Hooper is not a favourite. I have seen The Damned United and loved that movie too, and I am not a soccer fan. So I would say he is a worthy choice, a great director.

    I want to see where BAFTA goes. If it, like others, go for the one which they think will win the Oscar, then there is a good chance TSN will win there too. Then I will start yawning again.

  • 13 1-24-2011 at 7:35 am

    JJ1 said...

    I really put most blame the critics awards & Globes (lately) for setting a tone. No one movie deserves near-unanimous wins. I praise BAFTA for somewhat going for different things; no matter how Brit-centric they go. Just my opinion.

  • 14 1-24-2011 at 8:51 am

    Sawyer said...

    Could someone please explain the logic behind the preferential ballot system hurting The Social Network’s chances for a win? Consider for a moment that a voter chooses another of the 9 pictures #1 on their ballot. What film is likely to take the #2 or #3 spot? IMHO, that film is The Social Network, NOT The King’s Speech.

  • 15 1-24-2011 at 10:50 am

    Maxim said...

    “What film is likely to take the #2 or #3 spot? IMHO, that film is The Social Network, NOT The King’s Speech.”

    Which is EXACTLY what’s hurting it’s chances for WINNING (among some other factors). You’ve answered your own question.

  • 16 1-24-2011 at 11:52 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    @ darklayers:

    I personally preferred Julianne Moore’s work in TKAAR, and I think she is as just as overdue (SHORT CUTS, 1993) as Bening (THE GRIFTERS, 1990). I’m not sure why the conversation became about Bening this year. Maybe it had something to do with MOTHER AND CHILD, maybe it was the Hilary Swank factor, maybe people hated CHLOE. I would have expected Moore to have momentum from A SINGLE MAN.

  • 17 1-24-2011 at 1:57 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Very true, Paul. I would think that Julianne Moore missing out in A Single Man AND Kids (when she’d most likely be/been 6th or 7th in both instances) is QUITE a story.

    It could only help her in the long run if she gets a great role down the road. It should.

  • 18 1-24-2011 at 1:57 pm

    JJ1 said...

    The ‘overdue’ thing would probably be insurmountable; hence a win for her.