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From the Swan to the King
casey butler 13 front page editor
February 3, 2011

Sunday night, Hollywood’s best gathered at the Kodak Theatre in hopes of winning the most prestigious award in the film industry: an Oscar. This year, The King’s Speech and Black Swan have received more “Oscar buzz” than most. The former was nominated for twelve Oscars, and the latter was nominated for five.

“A film that makes your spirit soar,” according to The Wall Street Journal, The King’s Speech is the true story of King George VI of England.

When George, née Albert Windsor, finds himself heir to the throne, England is on the verge of war with Germany during World War II.

As the new king, George must give speeches to instill hope in his people and troops. The issue: King George has a stutter. With the help of an unorthodox speech therapist, the king must find his voice, literally and metaphorically, and provide his nation with the leadership they need to survive the war.

“A witchy brew of madness and cunning,” according to The New York Times, Black Swan, the psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman, tells the story of the professional ballerina, Nina.

When Nina’s ballet company decides the perform Swan Lake, Nina’s white swan interpretation is better than her black swan, and when the talented Lily arrives and embodies the black swan perfectly, Nina becomes paranoid.

As the two battle for the role, the black swan persona consumes Nina’s day-to-day life, and she ultimately discovers a new part of herself… a part that may destroy her.

Both movies were nominated for Best Picture, among others. Regardless of results, they clearly excelled on many levels.