One of the highlights of the annual awards pageant, for me, are the nicely-worded tributes written for the American Film Institute’s 10 Movies of the Year. The citations read yesterday are no exception.
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
ARGO cracks the code between fiction and truth – and uses both to deliver a rousing Hollywood adventure through a harrowing time in history. Director Ben Affleck drops audiences deep inside the Iran hostage crisis, and then skillfully leads an escape that marshals the forces of American film – including a masterful screenplay by Chris Terrio and an all-star cast that inspires laughs and cheers amidst heart-pounding suspense. Ultimately, the film is a wry meditation on the movies and the high stakes of storytelling in politics and beyond. And to those who doubt this is one of the best films of the year, “ARGO fuck yourself.”
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD roars with the strength of a people who wish to live and die in a world a wonder with adversity. At the center of this poetic storm stands Hushpuppy, a tiny heroine who towers among the toughest of the year. Hers is a triumphant tale of the mind and of the power of fantasy and folklore to carry us forward. In Hushpuppy, director Benh Zeitlin and co-writer Lucy Alibar capture the spirit of an unsung America with a commanding reminder from a small but strong voice – that all of us are “a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right.”