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02.09.11

The War Over Best Picture

Sure, there are eight other nominees in the Academy Awards’ Best Picture category—but it’s really come down to The King’s Speech and The Social Network. Which should win: the well-crafted, old-fashioned, feel-good movie? Or the ambitious, in-the-zeitgeist film about the way we live now? Richard Rushfield and Marlow Stern square off.

The King’s Speech: A Wonderfully Welcome Throwback
By Richard Rushfield

Before reviewing The King’s Speech’s claim on the Best Picture trophy for 2010, it is worth looking at what the Oscars represent, or more to the point, what they used to represent before our culture fractured into a million pieces and turned the annual ceremony into yet another battleground in the endlessly tiresome culture wars.

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The Social Network, Thrillingly Alive, Tells Us Who We Are
By Marlow Stern

On the evening of Sunday, February 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should do the right thing and honor The Social Network over The King’s Speech with the Best Picture Oscar, lest they risk further alienating the younger generation of movie fans who have caught on to the Oscars’ blandness and predictability. This lack of imagination is one of the reasons why TV ratings for Hollywood’s biggest night have dropped precipitously from a high of 57.3 million viewers in 1998—the year Titanic cleaned up at the awards—to just 41.3 million in 2010, despite nominating 10 films for the Best Picture Oscar instead of five.

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