The surprise Director's Guild Award for Tom Hooper and the awards from the Screen Actors Guild -- Best Actor for Colin Firth and Best Ensemble Cast -- pretty
much guarantee an Oscar sweep for "The King's Speech," the lush period biopic
about King George VI, who, with the help of a non-elitist therapist managed
to shake off a debilitating stutter, a toffee-nosed dissolute, Nazi-leaning elder brother,
and a paralyzing father complex, and, apparently, go on to win World War II
singlehandedly. In short, a textbook case of an Oscar shoo-in that will be studied by
aspirants to the prize as a model to follow for years to come.
On the other hand, if you'd like to see a genuinely moving and
inspiring film about another, humbler figure who transforms a disability into a redeeming
asset, check out "Marwencol" at
the Brattle heater Tonight. This film won't win any Oscars - the filmmakers
couldn't raise the $25,000 or so necessary to fulfill the Academy's
requirements to get a nomination. But director Jeff Malmberg did accept the Boston Society of Film
Critics award for Best Documentary and the David Brudnoy Award for Best New
Filmmaker at the group's award ceremony last night,
which hopefully is some consolation.