Friday, May 24, 2024

King’s Speech Gets Royal Lunch; DGA Picks Its Top 5, Snubs “Grit” and “127”


“The King’s Speech” got a royal lunch yesterday at a fancy shmancy private club on Fifth Avenue yesterday. We were asked not to say which one, for fear the members will be bombarded by outsiders with questions. Suffice to say, it was the real thing. A clue: its name reveals a position you might sit in.

Anyhoo: Director Tom Hooper –who’d moments before heard about his Directors Guild nomination–and stars Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle were hosted by Harold Evans and Amanda Foreman. CNN’s new chat show host Piers Morgan was joined by Liz Smith, Trudie Styler, Neil Simon and Elaine Joyce, Kim Cattrall, F. Murray Abraham, Al Maysles, Freddie Hancock, Israel Horovitz, Hannah Pakula, etc.

Harry Evans, who’s 83, told the crowd: “I remember the King’s Speech. I mean, I remember the King’s speech.”

So did the several Brits who showed up who are associated with actual royalty. One of the guests, Edwina Sandys, a granddaughter of Winston Churchill and an artist, gave the movie and the discussion–with Foreman moderating Hooper and Firth–a thumb’s up…

The Directors Guild of America issued its five nominations on Monday. Basically, they’ve chosen what will likely be the five Best Films of the year. Their choices: Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech,” David Fincher for “The Social Network,” Chris Nolan for “Inception,” David O. Russell for “The Fighter,” and Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan.”

No “Toy Story 3” or “True Grit” or “The Kids Are All Right” or “127 Hours” or “Blue Valentine.” Those are likely the next five, in the Oscars’ top 10.

But DGA nominees normally predict Oscar nominees. And unlike the Golden Globes (haha) there was no mention of “The Tourist” or “Burlesque.”

Nolan might be considered the weakest choice in the DGA group, possibly vulnerable to one of the others replacing him. But frankly, between bending the city over on itself, and those guys floating through the hotel, I think he’s solid. His real Oscar nemesis might turn out to be Ben Affleck.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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