A few hours ago Sasha Stone, Scott Feinberg and I recorded a special Oscar Poker (#18) about this morning’s Oscar nominations. I’d been in a funk all day about the 12 nominations handed to Tom Hooper‘s The King’s Speech, and the meaning of that number. Our discussion was basically about raising the spirits of those who, like myself, felt grief-struck about the “wrong” film suddenly seeming to become (emphasis on the “s” word) the leading Best Picture contender.

To me (and to most of the world) the 12 TKS nominations indicated a return to the old Oscar mentality of the ’90s, to notions of Anglo-Saxon safety and familiarity and upscale formula, to Merchant-Ivory/Masterpiece Theatre brand of royal British cinema. I felt deeply bummed by this because, to me, The Social Network almost represented a kind of Prague Spring movie — youthful, buzzy, fresh, GenY, 21st Century, etc. So to me this morning’s King’s Speech power-surge felt like repression, like Soviet tanks rumbling into Prague in August ’68. I stood on the street and wept.

But you know what? Our conversation raised my spirits somewhat. Here’s a stand-alone link,