Prestige, but predictable? 2011 Academy Awards review

— Gayathri Sundaram contributed with this article.

The Oscars are the highlight of every film buff’s and fashionista’s calendar, and this year’s didn’t shy away from the limelight. There were red carpets, lights, cameras, beautiful actresses and actors, and most of all, the great films they brought with them.

On Sunday 27th February we finally saw the proud winners of the 83rd Academy Awards.

One of the delightful moments occurred from those who won the award from their first nomination, such as Christian Bale. Bale, who starred in blockbuster films such as the “Dark Knight” and “American Psycho” has never been appreciated until now, even though he is a fantastic actor. Finally he has managed to impress film critics everywhere as the scheming, selfish and drug addicted Dicky Eckland in “The Fighter”.


The King's Speech was the centrepiece of the Oscars ceremony. Credit: The Weinstein Company

“The Fighter” also received Best Supporting Actress for Melissa Leo, who acted as Micky and Dicky’s domineering mother. It did come as a shock as although she had won the Golden Globe, there was hype that Hailee Stanfield from “True Grit” would have claimed the award.

Natalie Portman shone again after receiving Best Actress for her portrayal of a psychotically twisted ballet dancer in the film “Black Swan”.

The “Social Network”, which received major success at this year’s Global Globes, did not manage to get the main awards. They still yet managed to pull out three awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.

Toy Story 3 also managed to get a couple of awards including Best Animation and Christopher Nolan’s thriller Inception managed to walk away with three awards.

The biggest loser of the night was the film “127 Hours”, directed by Danny Boyle of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame. His compelling true story of Aron Ralston, who amputated his arm after being trapped under a boulder in Utah, received six nominations but unfortunately didn’t win a single one.

The real winner of the night was undoubtedly “The King’s Speech”. The majestic movie about the relationship of the stammering King George VI and his speech therapist received the four major Oscars that night. This included Best Original Screenplay, Best Director to Tom Hooper, Best Actor to Colin Firth (who like Christian has been finally been Oscar approved) and the Best Film.

Even though the ceremony was spectacular as it always is, it was obvious that there was a definite lack of interest this year than any other.  ABC reported a drop in 10% from the US and already being reported as “one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history”.

One of the reasons is arguably due to the fact that this year’s awards were incredibly predictable. It was generally assumed that “The King’s Speech” would win, thus resulting in a lack of viewers.

However, every other network that broadcasted the Oscars, including Sky Movie Premiere, said it still attracted more viewers than any other programme before. Perhaps next year there’ll be a little more competition?

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