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What the Best Picture Oscar® Really Tells Us

A tale of two movies.

Mar 7, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 24 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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The King’s Speech makes its audience feel good by asking it to share in the triumph of George VI, and with the concomitant triumph of his therapist Lionel Logue in helping the king save the monarchy through the hard work and bravery needed to overcome his verbal affliction. These are men you end up admiring. The Social Network is about a man you ought to admire far more—Zuckerberg has changed the world, after all—but whom Fincher and Sorkin give you permission to look down upon scornfully.

So the contest for the Oscar, which will probably be decided by the time you read these words, is less about the future of cinema versus its past, or the young versus the old, than about a movie that works hard to make you think well of its characters as opposed to a movie that directs you to think the worst.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, is The Weekly Standard’s movie critic.

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