Even though I voted against it in my Oscar pool, I kept secretly hoping all night that The Social Network might somehow win Best Picture, especially after Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored an upset win for their excellent original score. But as soon as Tom Hooper’s name was called for Best Director, the game was over and I realized why “the Facebook movie” never really had a chance – its main rival, The King’s Speech, was a middlebrow entertainment that plays like a virtual checklist of Oscar’s favorite qualities: true story, period piece (set against the beginning of the second World War no less), a cast of British acting royalty and a main character who overcomes a physical handicap (especially since Colin Firth didn’t, as my friend David Hanley points out, go “full retard”).
Lovers of The Social Network can take solace knowing that the list of movies that have never won Best Picture Academy Awards is more illustrious than the list of those that have. Like many great American films before it, David Fincher’s zeitgeist movie was too edgy, too hip, too relevant. Or as Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker might say: “Winning Best Picture isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Losing Best Picture.” Fans of David Fincher who don’t agree shouldn’t worry though. The man will win an Oscar someday, probably fifteen years from now for a film that isn’t as brilliant or innovative as Zodiac or The Social Network.
P.S. – A big thank you to Judi Marcin for throwing the best Oscar party ever. You deserve a little gold statue.