LOS ANGELES — If you’ve been watching cable news much lately, you know the defining narrative of the 2012 campaign: Conservative activists and pundits are unenthusiastic about the Republican presidential aspirants on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney might be the front-runner, but his supporters seem more pragmatic than passionate.
And guess what? In conversations with members of the Motion Picture Academy in the past few weeks, they sound a lot like the GOP electorate. After surveying the probable Oscar best-picture nominees, they’re wondering: Is this the best we can do?
To hear them tell it, “The Artist” is the clear, Romney-like favorite to win best picture, especially after nabbing three Golden Globes. But like Romney, the film — a romantic fable about the silent-movie era that is itself mostly silent and in black and white — isn’t inspiring a wealth of accolades. “It’s stylish and original,” says one academy veteran. “But did it move me or haunt me or floor me? Not really. It’s delightful, but is delightful what you want in a best-picture winner?”