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Oscar Campaigning – Two Ways


So maybe, in the end, it has come down to Argo and Lincoln, as it began, two stories about two different American heroes. One a CIA agent and the other a US president. Two different filmmakers – one, an actor turned director and the other a kid who picked up a super-8 camera. Their approaches are very different, so are their audiences, so are their fans.  This LA Times story digs in to the different styles of each campaign.

In addition to that stat named below, it’s been 61 years since a film with 12 nominations and the highest box office lost to one with less of both.  The last time it happened was when An American in Paris beat A Streetcar Named Desire.

At Affleck’s Friday night post-awards reception, the 40-year-old actor made the rounds of the Arlington Tavern, urging awards bloggers to keep “Argo” at the top of their lists while good-naturedly upbraiding those who noted that Oscar history isn’t on his movie’s side. (No film since 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy” has won the best picture without being nominated for a director award.)

In contrast Day-Lewis, costar Sally Field and other select well-wishers retreated to the second floor of upscale restaurant the Pan on Saturday evening, where access was barred to reporters.

“Energy is finite. There is only so much you can do,” said DreamWorks’ Snider. “These filmmakers gave it all to the film.” Snider added that she is confident that Oscar voters ultimately judge films on their merits, not the quantity of gladhanding done by its makers.

Though “Lincoln,” which has a leading 12 nominations, scarcely has been eliminated from the best picture Oscar race, the chances look slimmer for several of the other serious contenders, including “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Les Misérables.”

Affleck, who won the original screenplay Oscar in 1998 with Matt Damon for “Good Will Hunting,” said he doesn’t see all of his “Argo” promotions — countless screenings for awards voters, personal appearances, interviews — as work. At many stops he has been accompanied and counseled by George Clooney, one of Hollywood’s savviest political minds, who produced “Argo” along with Grant Heslov.