Good Morning Oscar, January 24: The Royal Shock

Theories and musings on what the surprise Producers Guild win for “The King’s Speech” really means

Everybody's trying to figure out what the surprise Producers Guild win for "The King's Speech" really means. A few theories and musings:

Jeff Wells: "It's a revolt, is what it is. It's the old getting onto the young and saying 'no…no! Our most highly honored film can't be about kids talking about computer codes….no! We need that old-time 1993 emotion!'" Considering that when it comes to the Oscars, "1993 emotion" means Best Picture winner "Schindler's List," I suppose that's not a bad thing. (Hollywood Elsewhere)

The King's SpeechKris Tapley: "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." But Tapley's not really one for theorizing, so "Who knows?" is a adequate summation from there. (In Contention)

Sasha Stone: "'The King’s Speech' has the heart tug factor … which most of the other films do not … It’s a film no one can hate.  And that is what you want to be heading into an Oscar race with a preferential, as opposed to a weighted, ballot." I think she means a preferential ballot as opposed to a straightforward "vote for your favorite" ballot, which is what the Academy and PGA used to employ in this category. But you get the idea. Stone has gone from "'The Social Network' is to this year's Oscar race what Secretariat was to the Belmont Stakes" to "the safe money is on 'The King's Speech'" faster than, um, Secretariat in the Belmont. (Awards Daily)

Dave Karger: First he asks, "Do we actually have an Oscar race on our hands after all?" Then he answers, "Whatever ends up happening, it’s clear that despite 'The Social Network'‘s critic-award sweep, we actually have a close contest for the Oscar." And he doesn't gloat once, even though he continued to predict "The King's Speech" at the Oscars and the PGA while others of us went to the "Social Network" side. (Inside Movies)

Pete Hammond: "Now the race is on. For the second straight year, the PGA did the unexpected and may have a major impact on the Oscar contest as it moves into its final phase … At the very least it’s a game changer that opens up the field again just as 'The Social Network'had hoped to close it." (Deadline)

Dixon Gaines: "More than anything else, 'The King’s Speech' win is going to cause some furious re-evaluation. But which way? … Maybe this means that 'The King’s Speech' ends up on top. Or maybe it means that 'The King’s Speech' and 'The Social Network' end up splitting the votes and a dark horse like 'Black Swan' or 'Inception' sneaks in for the win." Yeah, but the vote-splitting thing doesn't really work under the preferential system. (Movieline)

Susan King: "By inflicting this first chink in the armor of 'The Social Network,' 'The King’s Speech' … is now a serious contender for the Oscar that had seemed all but destined for the edgier David Fincher movie." (Awards Tracker)

Tim Appelo: "This race just went from a done deal to a dead heat, and from dead boring to exhilarating … Perhaps, for all its blue-hued brilliance, 'The Social Network' is too nearly hope-free, full of moral monsters bent on success at any price at a time when, in the real world, success is hogged by few and hope squelched for all …. " (The Race)

Bottom line: it's good for those of us who write about this stuff to at least have the illusion of a close contest. And it could be a lot more than an illusion.