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The King has spoken

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"And the Oscar goes to..." well, often it goes to the wrong person, but not this year. Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech," the story of how the future King George VI overcame his crippling stutter with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue, captured the awards for best picture, best director, best actor (Colin Firth) and best original screenplay (David Seidler).

"And the Oscar goes to..." well, often it goes to the wrong person, but not this year. Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech," the story of how the future King George VI overcame his crippling stutter with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue, captured the awards for best picture, best director, best actor (Colin Firth) and best original screenplay (David Seidler).

Other contenders for best picture included David Fincher's Facebook chronicle "The Social Network," the boxing drama "The Fighter" by David Russell, and the psychological thriller "Black Swan" by Darren Aronofsky. "The King's Speech" was nominated in 12 categories overall, while its main rival, "The Social Network," received 8 nominations.

In the head-to-head between King George and the new king of the Internet, the Academy went with tradition. As a film, "The King's Speech" is firmly rooted in the good old traditions of European and Hollywood cinema. It is an ode to the power of friendship and reasonable psychoanalysis. The future king - crippled by the rigidity of his royal upbringing and childhood traumas - simply needs a close friend who understands him.

Logue, a fearless commoner, will only work with his royal patient as equals. Ironically, it is by shedding the trappings of royalty that Albert (or Bertie, as Logue insists on calling him) can become the king that England needs as it prepares to confront the Nazi threat.

The speech therapist has some unorthodox methods. He has Bertie sing, dance, and swear to overcome his stutter. The student-teacher relationship is a staple of mainstream cinema. In "My Fair Lady," Henry Higgins teaches Eliza Doolittle to speak like a proper lady, while Lionel has Bertie speak like a commoner so that he can deliver important addresses as king.

Almost all of this year's Oscar nominees are heavily laden with psychoanalysis. Natalie Portman won the Oscar for best actress for her performance in "Black Swan" as Nina, a ballet dancer whose quest for perfection takes her to the brink of madness. There is "The Social Network," which casts Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, as an insecure status seeker. Christopher Nolan's "Inception" grapples with the very nature of dreams.

Like the "King's Speech," "Inception" won four awards, but for technical achievements: cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. For all their differences, both films tell us the story of men - the king and a spy who infiltrates dreams - who wade into their own subconscious to conquer their demons.

It wasn't just the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences that loved "The King's Speech." In a happy coincidence, the big winner on Oscar night is also a big winner at the box office. This year's best picture has already netted $235 million and counting.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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