Oscar shoo-ins are continually mentioned at the Toronto Film Festival. Who are the shoo-ins for Oscar nominations from the films this year?
Some names that people are talking about? Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Javier Bardem in Biutiful. And Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.
The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper (of the HBO series John Adams) is based on the real story of King George VI, the father of the current Queen, Elizabeth II, who became King after his brother abdicated the throne.
The King lived with a stutter that prevented him from giving public addresses, and this inability to speak made him a very reluctant ruler. Enter speech therapist Lionel Logue, who begins to get results with the would-be king and manages to befriend him, despite the difference in their standing. Sounds exactly like the kind of film that would do well at the Oscars, huh? Well the audiences are loving this film here.
And they are not wrong. Colin Firth really does give an excellent, nuanced performance. And Firth is certainly on a roll, since he was nominated last year for his work in A Single Man, which was purchased here in Toronto last year by the Weinstein Company. Geoffrey Rush may also get a nod, for his turn as the therapist.
Speaking in a Q & A after one of the screenings, Firth, Rush, and director Tom Hooper, attribute the on-screen chemistry between the two actors to the three week preparation period they had before filming began. Apparently, such prep time is rare.
That prep will probably pay off the beginning of 2011, when those Oscar nominations are announced.