Annie

Click here to read Margo Howard’s first, second, third, and fourth dispatches from the Blagojevich trial. And click here for her assessment of the opening statements. After two months of testimony, closing arguments in the Blago trial finally began in a packed courtroom (carried by speaker to a larger, overflow room). The line for seats available to the public started forming at 4 a.m. It felt like a Twilight premier for adult dorks.  Before Assistant U.S.

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On Wednesday, TNR senior editor Ruth Franklin explored the way authenticity is played with in David Simon’s new HBO show, “Treme.” Here, John McWhorter offers his own, markedly different opinion on the subject. People can get irritating about their authenticity.

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Discoveries

The White Ribbon Sony Pictures Classics Creation Newmarket Films   Michael Haneke, whose new film is called The White Ribbon, has given it a subtitle: A German Children’s Story. That is warning enough. This Austrian director is by now so distinctively established as a connoisseur of darkness--with Funny Games, about neighborliness as murder; with Caché, about the past seeping into the present; with The Piano Teacher, about the animal in the civilized--that his dainty subtitle must be seen as a deadpan tease.

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Orphaned Annie

It was bad enough when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences declined to nominate Wall-E for Best Picture, opting instead for a wave of middlebrow mush. Now, in an effort to outperform that obtuseness, the International Animated Film Society has declared that Wall-E isn't even the best animated film, instead conferring that honor (it's called an "Annie," get it?) on Kung Fu Panda. Now, I enjoyed that film as much as the next guy (though perhaps not quite so much as Bolt: it was a good year for animated movies).

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