Magazine February 6, 2012, Issue

Mute Point

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Béjo in The Artist (The Weinstein Company)

This promises to be a challenging year for Oscar voters. The old reliables — Steven Spielberg with War Horse, Martin Scorsese with Hugo, Clint Eastwood with J. Edgar — haven’t set the world on fire, and seeming shoo-ins like The Iron Lady and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo have been greeted with as much disappointment as delight. The hands-down best movie of 2011 was Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, but the Academy Awards do not exist to reward artistic quality alone, and Malick’s luminous commentary on Genesis and Job no doubt left many Academy members bored rather than bedazzled.

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Mismanaged and lacking strategic direction, the Gingrich campaign may be in need of a leveraged buyout.

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