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A king's speech, an Arab movement's voice

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Gary Hershorn/Reuters

(Read caption) British actor Colin Firth accepts the Oscar for best actor for his role in 'The King's Speech,' during the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 27.

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They say movies reflect the times. And however improbably, two of the top winners at Sunday night's Academy Awards, “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network," stand out amid the ongoing wave of Arab revolutions that are reshaping the world's mental maps.

With past weeks at times seeming like a standoff between autocrats and Facebook, between Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Silicon Valley's Mark Zuckerberg, "The Social Network" has felt like an art-meets-life moment.

Yet at its heart, as Timothy Egan points out in The New York Times, Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning screenplay about the creation of Facebook was “a fight among the privileged for more privilege.” At Harvard University, Mr. Zuckerberg is royally miffed that girls don’t date him and other brainy nerds. He’s not seeking dignity but acceptance at exclusive school clubs.


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