In an unexpected, even by me, upset, “The King’s Speech” won the prestigious Producer’s Guild Award for Best Picture!
What was its’ competition? Well, that film that I now will call “The Joy of Typing.”
And WHY did “The King’s Speech” win? Well, some are saying it was the preferential ballot system that now that it’s a group of Top Ten instead of five that the Academy uses, too.
Confused? Well, in the acting categories, and the other categories, for instance it’s simply the film with the most votes.
The Academy(or in this case “The Producer’s Guild”) members write down their choices from one to ten. Yes, they WRITE them in. They don’t use online voting…and then they MAIL them in.
Once they get to their accountant’s offices, piles are formed.
IOW, there would be a “King’s Speech” pile, counting those votes that had TKS at number one.
Then a “Joy of Typing” pile, with those that like stenography.
Then a pile with “The Fighter” as #1 say. Then “Black Swan” and so on.
FOR EVERY SINGLE MOVIE.
Now if you had a film like say “The Ghost Writer” it, too, would have its’ own pile. Probalby a small one and then that’s where the fun starts.
IF there isn’t a simple majority on the first arrangement of piles, or the first “Round” of ballot counting, then the film, say like “Ghost Writer” has its’ #2 choice taken and put in THAT pile as a number one.
If there is then a majority winner, that film wins, but IF THERE isn’t, then they go to the other remaining smaller piles, say, Toy Story3 for instance. And then take THOSE piles’ #THREE choice and count IT as their NUMBER ONE(Still with me?) and redistribute those #3’s to the piles of the main vote getters…and so on and so on…until a clear #1 is chosen. I think it has to be 50% of the total number of votes cast plus one.
This is also most important because not only are these PGA guys(mostly) who are also ACTUAL ACADEMY Members, but also for Best Picture and only for Best Picture, does the Academy ALSO use this preferential voting system, and because there are also ten, count’em. Ten nominees here, also.
Now, we’ll never, never know, since they don’t release their numbers, if the exquisite “The King’s Speech”, won on the first round with 50% plus one of the votes. Or if it was crowned the mighty winner, on a subsequent redistribution of the ballots. Hence the term prefential balloting.
Now why is this significant? Even MORE significant than the OVERWHELMING number of BAFTA nominations (14) that “The King’s Speech” received? Because the Producer’s Guild has a large, mostly American membership, who ALLLLLL belong also to the Academy.
AND their PRODUCERS. They are the least esoteric of guilds. They are the industry’s bottom-liners. They’re the Money Guys. They are always the most feared of all, these captains of industry, because at any moment they can pull the plug on ANYthing, or cut off the money supply, and suddenly every thing stops.
They look at different things. That “The King’s Speech” was an independent film. As glossy as it looks. It was. Independently financed and a low budget film. THAT LOOKED LIKE A BIG BUDGET FILM. And boasted a stellar ensemble cast of some of the best actors on the planet. Topped by consistant awards King this season, Colin Firth.
And it’s making money, internationally.
And THEY LOVED IT.
I think they felt, they all felt, evidently, as I do, that “The King’s Speech” is a superb, inspiring film about the triumph of the human spirit, triumph over a crippling disablity, and the triumph of friendship(Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush) and the solidity of a good, great marriage (Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter) Positive, positive, positive.
Colin Firth’s performance, as I was saying ALL SEASON, is one of the classic screen performances EVAH, and he has won every major critics’ Award on his way to the Ultimate Podium, as I told him(and you, dear readers, dear cineastes) that he would.
Bravo to Colin, Geoffrey, Helena, Guy Pearce(who plays the bad brother) as the abdictatee King Edward VII and Claire Bloom and Timothy Spall and Derek Jacobi and Michael Gambon, and alll the incredible cast and most of all to the producer behind it all, Harvey Weinstein.
And of course, the gentle director Tom Hooper, who named me after all “The Oscar Messenger.”