I don’t begrudge The Artist its probable win,” says N.Y. Times critc A.O. Scott in a 2.17 chit-chat piece with Manohla Dargis. “It’s a charming, likable movie — a movie in love with movies and its own charm and also full of the genial cosmopolitanism that the Academy tends to like.

“It and The King’s Speech, different though they are, may define what an Oscar movie is today: well made, emotionally accessible and distributed, as you note, by the Weinstein Company. People who see them mostly like them. But the movies people love — both the idiosyncratic, ambitious movies that spark passions and start arguments and the hugely popular, hugely expensive genre movies that are Hollywood’s global cash crop — have become marginal. Which could be why the Oscars seem so small these days.”