BY ROBERT DIGITALE
What does it mean that “The King’s Speech” has been crowned the year’s best film, along with honors for best director and best actor?
On one level, you can say that no film dominated Monday’s Academy Awards ceremony. After all, both “King’s Speech” and “Inception” won four awards each. “The Social Network” was right behind with three. Three other films, “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Fighter,” and “Toy Story 3” each won two Oscars.
But not all awards are created equal. Who chooses to watch films based on sound mixing or sound editing? (“Inception” won both areas.) No, “King’s Speech” clearly won in big categories, including best original screenplay.
Still, the awards remind me that some things can’t be judged by the weight of Oscar gold.
“King’s Speech” had viewers rooting for its royal underdog, and it took us to another time and place: the onset of World War II. Among other things, the film helped us remember a nation that was willing to pay a heavy price to fight off a totalitarian aggressor.
But “Social Network,” which won for best adapted screenplay, remains every bit in the same league of filmmaking, even without the same Oscar pedigree. It also took us into another time and place: the elite world of Harvard University and Silicon Valley in the days not so long ago when Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook.
“Social Network” will remain a film for our time, not for what it says about Zuckerberg but for what it says about us: what we strive for and what we’re willing to do in order to get what we want. It’s not a comfortable film for many to watch today, which is why those who come after us will study it for clues about this generation.