Many films delved into history this year but only film actually changed it. After seeing Lincoln, Mississippi finally got around to ratifying the 13th amendment.
“I think there’s a 110 percent chance Daniel Day-Lewis will win. I think ‘Argo’ will definitely win Best Picture. I think Ben Affleck not being nominated for Best Director has now turned into a blessing because everyone’s outraged by the fact he wasn’t nominated, so now he’s going to win everything, and I think it’s a great movie too.” — Mark Wahlberg on the Oscar race, who then added Life of Pi was his favorite movie.
It has taken a while for anyone in mainstream press to get around to the Zero Dark Thirty Oscar story but this LA Times piece is a great place to start. One of the worst things about this year was watching the critics embrace Zero Dark Thirty almost completely, only to abandoned it when the torture debate started. Usually critics will stand by the film rated their best reviewed film of the year. Not this year.
Andrew O’Hehir makes a case why Argo doesn’t deserve Best Picture and in so doing sort of nails the swollen absurdity of this year, maybe every year:
“Then again, I’m the guy who told you a few weeks ago that “Lincoln” was a shoo-in, and might sweep all the major awards. As usual in Hollywood, nobody knows anything, and that sound you hear in the background is veteran Oscar-watchers beginning to hem and haw and hedge their bets all over the place. Roger Ebert recently wrote that he feels the momentum shifting toward David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” and that’s not an utterly outrageous suggestion. There’s definitely a mounting degree of anti-Affleck backlash out there, and it has to coalesce around something. Russell’s vaguely offbeat rom-com, which I enjoyed perfectly well but can barely remember beyond Robert De Niro’s supporting performance, has two great advantages. It makes absolutely no claim to have anything to do with real events (except insofar as mental illness and the Philadelphia Eagles both exist) and it’s the only nominated film that’s arguably even more trivial than “Argo.”