Get Your Smear On

Now that the Golden Globes have been awarded, the best part of Oscar season kicks into high gear: It’s smear campaign time! (Also, allegation of smear campaigns time.) Coming out of the gate, the first apparent smear attempt comes at the expense of Colin Firth, as nefarious smearmongers circulate word that the character Firth plays in The King’s Speech (King) was not a fan of the Jews. Veteran smear-watchers will recall that this is the same tactic used against Russell Crowe’s character back when 2002’s A Beautiful Mind was vying for Oscars. Crowe did not receive the Best Actor award, but he had just won the year previously and it was his third straight nomination in the category. It is impossible to know whether Academy members’ intense dislike for the actions of a real-life character influence their decision to celebrate the performance of the actor portraying that character, but these smear campaigns can get pretty vicious. If you hear something in the near future about how the dude who hacked off his arm once told a Polish joke, don’t think it’s a coincidence.