This morning I suggested to a columnist pal that he needs to focus “on the surging of The Fighter as a Best Picture contender. This is a really well-made, deeply populist, authentic blue-collar drama that’s much better and far less sappy than…I don’t even want to mention Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky because it just diminishes The Fighter‘s brand when I do that.

“I think you’re going to find that ticket buyers will start responding to it big-time…maybe. This could be the compromise Best Picture choice — the happy middle-ground contender that could/should satisfy the King’s Speech and Social Network camps.”

Strange as this may seem to some, the term “Best Picture” actually does mean that. It doesn’t mean “Best Liked” or “Most Comforting” or “Most Emotional” or “The Movie My Cleaning Lady Likes The Best.” THerefore The Social Network really and truly happens to be the best film of the year, but — I’m saying this carefully — if it were to lose to The Fighter, I would not collapse on the floor in spasms of grief and protest and outrage.