Friday, April 12, 2024

Oscars: Is “Argo” the Best Picture or the Most Snubbed?


As the Oscar voting goes into high gear, some people are wondering whether “Argo” is the Best Picture of the Year or the Most Snubbed? So far “Argo” seems to have picked up awards based at least partly on the Academy’s inadvertent snub of Ben Affleck as the director of “Argo.” The directors chosen by the Academy voters have caused no end of discussion among the Oscar cognoscenti.

My own theory was that the Academy didn’t have the DGA final nominees list in front of them. But for some reason, the Academy left out Affleck, Kathyrn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino and Tom Hooper. Now it would seem a little odd to have a Best Picture that was directed by someone who didn’t even make the ballot. But that’s the case for “Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Django Unchained,” and “Les Miserables.”

And then we have Ang Lee, David O. Russell, and Steven Spielberg– all of whom have the Best Picture and Best Director nominations. “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Lincoln” would seem like more reasonable choices– and less emotional. It’s possible that since “Argo” won its early awards, voters have calmed down from that earlier ‘we’ll show ’em” stance. I do think people are actually feeling sorry for Ben Affleck (who I like a lot and have known since “Good Will Hunting”). But really, kids, he’s married to Jennifer Garner. And he’s Ben Affleck. He should feel sorry for us.

“Life of Pi” is very popular, and Fox is spending on its campaign. “Silver Linings” is just hitting $70 million at the box office, and keeps engendering great word of mouth. “Lincoln” remains the epic achievement, with a Best Actor nominee in Daniel Day Lewis who’s sure to win. And that’s another thing–aside from Alan Arkin, “Argo” has no acting nominees. Can it be Best Picture without a director or actors?

I think there are still some surprises out there. The Oscar race is far from over.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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