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Did 'Argo' win the Best Picture Oscar as compensation because the Academy realises they were dumb not to nominate Ben Affleck as Best Director ?

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Showing 1-25 of 55 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 24, 2013 10:59:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2013 11:01:24 PM PST
Bob Bykowski says:
What do you think ?

Excuse me, that should have been "realizes" in the title of the thread. My bad !

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 10:33:57 AM PST
D. Larson says:
Nah, every other year the Academy selects some soon-to-be-forgotten movie as Best Picture. History and this board are full of "What were they thinkings?" about "Crash" and so forth. "Argo" might or might not be better than "Lincoln" or "Zero Dark Thirty". Who's to say?

The Academy, that's who. They give the statuette to the right movie about half the time. Do they know what they're doing when they vote? No, but do we? But atoning for slighting Affleck? Doubt it.

The bigger question is who picked Seth MacFarlane? And why? And whats with his Sinatra fixation? The most charitable thing you can call his emceeing would be lame.

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 11:24:32 AM PST
Actually the whole thing about best screenplay, director, and film is pretty interesting. Obviously a screenplay can be fantastic, but the execution of the screenplay do a tremendous injustice to it. That said, how does anyone ever know? I mean does the academy read the screenplays to all the nominated films, or are they only going by how the film turned out? Then there's the fact that people always presume that the best picture will automatically win the best director award, but why? Many films are made in the editing room, and what you get on the screen could very well be in spite of the director. Jaws is a great example of that. There are many reasons why you might have two different winners for the best director and best picture the two awards are not synonymous.

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 11:52:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2013 11:53:15 AM PST
TinkHerToy says:
"The Academy" is essentially everybody in the film industry. Cinematographers nominate for cinematography. Art directors nominate for Art Direction. Actors nominate actors. The top noms get chosen to be Nominees. Then all card-carrying hollywood vote for their choices. It is truly a jury of their peers. It doesn't always reflect popular opinions or box office receipts. So whether it was the "right" movie or actor is moot. It's a big glam party in which Hollywood pats itself on the back, and I've loved it since I first started watching it in the late 1960's. I thought it was a good show, Seth did a nice job keeping it entertaining, efficient yet edgy. Ben Affleck still won a statue for his labors and I'm sure he's on top of the world this morning. The Memorial segments always make me cry. It was nice to see Babs there.

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 12:46:16 PM PST
Babs' appearance was one of the most appalling things of the evening--bathetic and in bad taste, to say the least. But it's Babs, so that is only to be expected. And it is notable who wasn't included in the In Memoriam reel--Andy Griffith for one, a significantly more important figure than many that were included.

The Academy gets it wrong at least 75% of the time for best picture, actor, actress, and director. One of the few constants that I have noticed is that, quite often, the winners in the best screenplay categories are in fact the best films of the year, even if they don't win best picture.

Never have I see a less attractive lineup of best picture nominees.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 1:08:54 PM PST
ChrisB says:
Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty were both terrible films. Lincoln, while epic and historical with an amazing acting performance, was boring. It took three attempts before I got through it without falling asleep! Zero Dark Thirty was similarly boring. We all knew what was going to happen at the end so the interesting thing was what happened before that and it just wasn't interesting enough. The climax should have built to the discovery of the location and the mission in there as, almost, an epilogue to the movie - but the mission was the climax and, as a result, boring coz we all knew what was going to happen.

As for McFarlane - he was far far better than I expected him to be. I like a classic joke telling song and dance man and thats exactly what he did. Good opening sequence and then kept in the back group and "hosted" the rest of the night - it was about Oscar - not about Seth and thats what was missing on years with Stewart, Rock, Franco etc. Jackman was the last good host and there weren't many good ones before him either (I would like to see Hathaway host on her own or with someone other than Franco coz I think she could have been good)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 1:13:09 PM PST
ChrisB says:
only people who, in the past, have been nominated for best screenplay can vote for best screenplay. I believe all screen play writers vote for both adapted and original so they will, generally, read screenplays and know how they've been treated when it comes it the finished product.

Very often there will be a hit independant film which is great an deserves accolade so films like Lost In Translation, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction etc will win this award but not quite have enough support for best picture. I thought this would be the case with Argo. Loved the film but shocked it beat out Lincoln and Les Miserables. I would imagine had Afflek got a best director nomination he wouldn't have gotten so many votes in the best Picture category...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 1:14:24 PM PST
BackToGood says:
My initial reaction was that it was a consolation prize to Affleck, but with more hindsight, I feel as if one really doesn't have to do with the other. I think if a particular film jumps out a given voter, for whatever reason, irrespective of who the director is, that film will most probably win. Not to mention that I think the George Clooney association probably had some pull, and I didn't even know Clooney was involved with Argo until I saw him get on stage to pick up his Oscar!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 1:15:50 PM PST
ChrisB says:
really? I saw all but three of the films nominated and I loved 4 of them, 2 of them I was fairly passive about but I can see why they were nominated.

What films from last year would you put up against them? Looking at the nominations if this had been a "best picture of the decade so far" we'd have at least 4 of same 9 films nominated.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 1:58:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2013 2:05:37 PM PST
Bob Bykowski says:
James N. Smith says: "There are many reasons why you might have two different winners for the best director and best picture the two awards are not synonymous."

Actually, if you look at a history of past Oscar winners in both categories, the winners ARE synonymous around 98% of the time. Normally, once they announce the winner for Best Director, you can pretty well know what's going to win for Best Picture. Not always, but usually.

Ang Lee winning for Best Director this year...I don't know of anyone who predicted that one. I'm not saying that's bad, but it was a total surprise.

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 2:22:34 PM PST
Mike Gordan says:
And to go even further, it's usually a probable indicator that if a film was nominated for Best Director, Film Editing, Screenplay, and at least nominated in at least one acting category alongside Best Picture, the film has a good sporting chance at winning Best Picture. With only 4 exceptions, a Best Picture nominee without a Best Director nom really doesn't get very far in the Oscar race and often crash and burn in the race for Best Picture regardless of merit.

As for what I thought of the Best Picture race itself, out of the 5 I've seen, only two of them were good: Argo and Django Unchained. Lincoln was incredibly preachy, inaccurate, and an incredibly base and shallow excuse for a biopic of a very complex and significant historical icon. Life of Pi is the work of nausiatingly sentimentalization of Christianity without a shred of critical or philosophical depth needed to prove the existence of God; the only positive thing I can think about in regards to this film is that it's very pretty. And Ls MiZ...just...why is this even a musical in the first place?

I haven't seen Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wilds or Silver Linings Playbook. I have no desire to ever watch them (they are essentially a Lars von Trier disease film, a global warming Bambi-esque tale, and a bipolar movie respectively). And while it's not enough to completely deter my plans to see Zero Dark Thirty or The Impossible, based on the clips the Academy chose to show us when listing off the Best Actress nominees, Chastain comes off as a woman in hysterics, chewing the scenery to bits whilst Naomi Watts at least presents subtlety in an otherwise shallow-looking film. Of course, I will still see Zero Dark Thirty to give that one a chance and stay away from The Impossible while I'm at it. But now, I have my doubts that Zero Dark Thirty would rate very high, or at the very least, top Act of Valor. But I cannot be certain until I watch it.

But I will be certain to stay away from the other nominees.

PS: The Best Picture loser of the night was Beasts of the Southern Wilds as it was the only nominee not to win anything. Amour won Best Foreign Language film; Argo for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing; Django Unchained for Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) and Best Original Screenplay; Les Miserable for Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Sound Mixing, and Makeup and Haristyling; Life of Pi for Best Director (Ang Lee), Musical Score, Visual Effects, and Cinematography; Lincoln for Best Actor (DDL), and Best Production Design; Silver Linings Playbook for Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence); and even Zero Dark Thirty in a tie vote with Skyfall for Best Sound Editing. Beasts of the Southern nothing.

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 11:34:26 PM PST
I would say its more like the Academy snubbed Ben Affleck so Ang Lee could win one for Director. I dont know if Lee's won an Oscar before as director.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 2:07:44 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Stephen Mcnary

I think Lee won for Brokeback Mountain, which should have won the BP Oscar as well.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 2:11:47 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 26, 2013 6:00:23 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 2:19:11 AM PST
ChrisB says:
Spielberg won best picture Schindlers List, not for The Colour Purple, he also won best director for that and for Saving Private Ryan.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 2:23:18 AM PST
ChrisB says:
Silver Lining Playbook was a nice, funny, independant style romantic comedy but I'm surprised it got so many accolades. It was a good film and Jennifer and Bradley were awesome in it but I wouldn't have put it up for best picture.

Les Miserables was an awesome film, I dont know if you just dont like musicals or what you didn't like about it but, other than the pressence of Russell Crowe, the movie was fantastic. Epic sets and effects, fantastic acting from Jackman, Hathaway and I'd have liked to see Cohen get a best supporting nod. I'm shocked that Tom Hooper didn't get nominated for best director as he not only directed the action on screen but the concept of the live singing and driving the entire project from start to finish was entirely in his hands. Love the film, have seen it multiple times and, other than Django, I cant say that'll be the cast for anything else nominated this year.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 3:47:27 AM PST
Mike Gordan says:
ChrisB: If the acting of Silver Linings Playbook was at all a redeeming virtue to the film, it would have to require acting chops that would be able to put Citizen Kane to shame. But with Bradley Cooper being bipolar, Jennifer Lawrence transmogriphiing into another Barbra Streissand, and Robert De Niro as a washed up shell of his former self, I just don't see it.

There was genuinely no reason for Les Miz to be a musical. Furthermore, the editing was sloppy, the acting irrelevant (what acting? All I see is a really bad attempt at opera), and the narrative disjointed. If there was any semblance of time in this film, I just don't see it.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 6:03:26 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:

Thanks for the correction. I was posting at 3 AM and got a little scrambled in thought.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 6:10:16 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Gordo, Slayer of Dragons

"There was genuinely no reason for Les Miz to be a musical."

Well, they weren't making the umpteenth version of Les Miserables, but a movie of the hit Broadway musical Les Miz, so the film had to be a musical. Why else film Les Miz? The only instance I can recall of Hollywood making a movie of a hit musical and not retaining the songs, though using some of the tunes in the orchestral soundtrack, was Fanny back in the mid fifties.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 6:54:40 AM PST
I'm still wondering how one of the worst movies I ever saw West Side Story won!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 7:29:07 AM PST
D. Larson says:
I'd guess the reason for Les Miz to be a musical is that it's made a boatload, many boatloads of money as a stage musical. Thus, it seemed likely to make more boatloads as a musical movie.

And it did. Why would anyone want to watch Crowe mumbling Victor Hugo without the music?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 7:35:13 AM PST
D. Larson says:
So, "Lincoln" was historically inaccurate, but "Argo" was a documentary?

I didn't know Teheran police cars could go 180 mph!

Anyways, "Lincoln" is most decidedly not a biopic. You want an Abraham Lincoln biopic, I think Henry Fonda did one. "Lincoln" is a political thriller, along the lines of "Ides of March". Scheming politicians, Honest Abe among them, conspire, do deals and politick for a cause.

Of course, since we know how it comes out, the "thrills" get diluted a bit. But it's still the class act of the bunch.

"Beasts" is the twee-est thing I've seen since Wes Anderson. But "Pi" had some heaping helpings of twee going, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 7:53:26 AM PST
ChrisB says:
Best Little Whorehouse In Texas is probably the biggest example I can think of where they wrote I Will Always Love You exclusivly for the movie when it wasn't in the stage show and cut a lot of the original songs and changed the storyline.

West Side Story, while I dont think it added any songs, changed some of the characters around and different people sing different songs.

Evita had a song written for the movie that was not in the musical.

As for Les Miserables there are 2 songs from the musical which are cut from the movie and 1 song added and the songs that were cut, well, no one would miss them...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 12:25:25 PM PST
Mike Gordan says:
D. Larson: The film was about Lincoln. It revolved around his work, his actions. Ergo, it's a biopic. And a ridiculously shallow one to boot (so much so that the film with the vampires is more a biopic than the Best Picture nominee).

My criticisms of Lincoln are in no way, shape or form a contradiction to that of my appreciation of Argo. Oddly enough, Argo wouldn't have worked from a Conservative show-don't-tell point of view. It needed a liberal hotshot--Ben Affleck--to direct the film from the above pov under the impression that what he is making is a critical attack against America and a tribute to Jimmy Carter. Due to the show-don't-tell execution of the film, it instead worked as proof on how lousy the President was and just how his foreign policies had led to Iran completely turning their backs on us as a nation. The events of the film, if you will, chronicles the beginning of Iran's descent into madness in response to an incompetent maroon's foreign policies, and the actions America and Canada took in retaliation. And Affleck, in turn, did something that very few filmmakers have the humility or restraint to do when it comes to political films--he kept his political views out of it, and let the story tell itself.

Of course, much information was left out, and a few bits (mainly the climax) were fictionalized. I believe in historical tweaking in a film like this for cinematic purposes, so long as it doesn't clash with the strengths of the film or the significance of the events themselves (another big example of details having been tweaked or fictionalized for cinematic and artistic purposes: A Beautiful Mind). But what we got out of Argo is indeed significant. And for many reasons different from what Affleck intended for sure.

Again, Argo and Django Unchained are the only Best Picture nominees this year that were at all first rate. Zero Dark Thirty might be watchable--heck, it might actually be good. But based on the clip I saw at the Oscars, I don't think it will be able to land in the same class as the aforementioned two films. Everything else is crap.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 12:32:23 PM PST
Bob Bykowski says:
Michael J. Mason says: "I'm still wondering how one of the worst movies I ever saw West Side Story won!"

Strongly disagree. Next to 'Singin' in the Rain', it was probably the best musical ever put on film.
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Initial post:  Feb 24, 2013
Latest post:  Jun 12, 2013

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