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`Social Network,' `King's Speech' aim for Oscars

Jan 25, 2011 3:24:00 AM - thestate.com
Academy Awards voters are poised to set up a showdown between a tongue-tied monarch and a viper-tongued Web whiz kid.

"The Social Network," a tale about the prickly founder of Facebook, and "The King's Speech," a saga of Queen Elizabeth II's stammering dad, are among likely nominees for Hollywood's biggest prize as Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday.

The two films are the best-picture front-runners. With a best-drama win at the Golden Globes and top honors from key critics groups, "The Social Network" seems to have the edge. But "The King's Speech" pulled off an upset over the weekend for the main prize at the Producers Guild of America Awards, whose winner often goes on to claim best picture at the Oscars.

For the second-straight year, the Oscars will feature 10 best-picture nominees after organizers doubled the field of contenders from the traditional five to open up the competition to a broader range of films. That returned the show to a setup it had from 1931 to 1943, when 10 films were typically nominated for best picture but as many as 12 were sometimes in the running.

Other prospects this season include the boxing drama "The Fighter," the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception," the psychosexual thriller "Black Swan," the survival memoir "127 Hours," the Western "True Grit," the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right," the crime stories "The Town" and "Winter's Bone" and the animated smash "Toy Story 3," the top-grossing movie released in 2010.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)