However tempting the headline might have been, there was no “royal flush” at this year’s Academy Awards.
Over the last 24 hours I’ve seen many headlines claiming The King’s Speech, director Tom Hooper’s crowd pleasing historical recreation of the life of King George XI dominated this year’s Oscars dojo.
This morning Sky News’ scrolling bar declared: The King’s Speech sweeps Oscars. The same headline appears online here.
It didn’t. While the film predictably emerged as the front runner and won four of the biggest awards — Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture — it won only a third of the categories it was nominated for.
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By contrast, Titanic won 11 out of 14 nominations in 1998. That could be legitimately construed as a “sweep.” The Return of the King won 11 out of 11 in 2004. That’s unquestionably a sweep.
The King’s Speech won 4 of 12. It received one more golden statuette than the SCI-FI action blockbuster Inception, which won in three technical categories.
The Social Network also won three. Toy Story 3, The Fighter and even Alice in Wonderland – which was widely panned by the critics – took two a piece. So, far from a sweep, this year’s Oscars shared the love.