Hooray for Harvey.
The Weinstein Company honcho is back on top after The King’s Speech cleaned up at the 83rd Academy Awards. The Guardian is calling him the “Oscars’ comeback kid,” saying he’s made a return to glory after suffering a few not-so-good years.
You see, Harvey Weinstein is a genius marketer, and he’s especially adept at campaigning for Oscar gold. Lest we forget, he’s the man who shepherded 1998’s Shakespeare in Love to Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. (It should be said that I’ve always preferred Shakespeare to Ryan, but no one, even me, really believed it had a chance.)
That earlier contest should have served as foreshadowing for last night’s miscarriage of voting. You see, The King’s Speech did not win because it was truly the year’s best picture. It won because Weinstein campaigned mightily and successfully for its win.
Don’t get me wrong. I saw The King’s Speech and I liked it a great deal. I thought the acting was superb across the board; had Geoffrey Rush or Helena Bonham Carter taken the Oscar in the categories for which they’d been nominated, I wouldn’t have been upset.
Amazing acting aside, however, The King’s Speech is not the type of film that truly shows the magic of the cinema. It’s not a visual marvel by any means. Its feel-good story is a by-the-numbers affair; if you’ve seen one underdog story, you’ve seen them all. Simply put, it brings nothing new to the table.