Oscar winners and cultural impact

But a gut feeling tells those of us who were only mildly impressed by The King’s Speech that something feels wrong. That’s not to say the multiple Oscar-winning biopic of stuttering King George VI isn’t good. It is. But would it feel any more right if it was The Social Network that had won Best Pic and wound up outranking some of the above titles? Maybe, if only because TSN felt more impactful in the overall scheme of things, culturally speaking; the same could be argued of Black Swan, with its stylish bravado and unforgettable central performance.

Then again, digging into the list we’re reminded of Oscar’s prior history of selecting dubious Best Picture winners; The King’s Speech also outranks Shakespeare in Love, Forrest Gump, Dances with Wolves, and Crash. And that feels just right. (Jen Yamato, “Is King’s Speech Really Better Than Unforgiven, The Sting, and These Other Best Picture Oscar Winners?,” Movieline, 4 March 2011)

I have a feeling that King's Speech is going to last; the friendship it pro-offers is too interesting and inspiring -- moving -- I think, for the movie to just have the title now owing to its commitment to and its helping entrench a just-before-long-war preferred attitude shift toward selfless service and sacrifice. I think the film will now do more harm than good, but a different generation could recover it for better purposes, and will likely want to: it evidently has a lot to teach a nation concerned with the careful knitting of a frayed social fabric about empathy and love. For me, it's above Unforgiven, certainly.

Forrest Gump has lasted as long as Pulp Fiction (and they both hold that year's title in my mind). You know this -- why did you include it with the rest of list of readily left-behinds?

Link: Is King’s Speech Really Better Than Unforgiven, The Sting, and These Other Best Picture Oscar Winners? (Movieline)


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