When Argo wins Best Picture it will be the weakest Best Picture winner since 1932’s Grand Hotel.

Weak because:
Life of Pi – 11
Les Mis, Silver Linings-8
Argo – 7 + no director

With no director nomination and at that nominations rank Argo is on the level of Grand Hotel in terms of strength. Best Picture strength is measured by nominations rank and having a best director nomination. It is up to you to decide the film’s worth. I am talking stats.

That’s 80 years since we had a winner with fewer nominations and no director nomination win.  Emmanuelle Riva was five the last time that happened.  Call it a fluke of timing, blame the DGA for not announcing before ballots got turned in, fume at the directors in the Academy for leaving Ben Affleck off their list but no matter, the context will eventually evaporate and we will be left with the stat.

There are two kinds of film fans. Those who zero in on the director and those who don’t. Me, I’m someone who zeroes in on the director. I have always been that way, as a film fan and as a wanna-be filmmaker once upon a time (#humblefail). I grew up studying films through the director – Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, etc.  Therefore, it always bugs me when a film wins without its director. Brokeback Mountain and Ang Lee should have won, or Crash and Paul Haggis. Shakespeare in Love and whatever that guy’s name was or Saving Private Ryan and Steven Spielberg.  I’m just funny that way. Only kidding about John Madden!

Best Picture winners without their directors in recent times don’t fare well in memory — The Godfather and Shakespeare in Love being exceptions in my book — and they don’t serve the whole point of the structure of the Oscars. To me personally. Then again, actors seem to rule these choices more than any other group and in the case of a split, I like to imagine, the actors pull rank.

When this happens on Sunday it will wipe clean the director stat we have all become too comfortable with. The Social Network’s loss to the King’s Speech proved, beyond any doubt, that the critics have zero impact on the industry.  This year, Argo’s win will prove the Academy’s directors, once the gods of Hollywood, have zero impact on the industry. In short, the industry rules.  I’ve been blogging as the PGA and SAG have grown in prominence and now they are an impenetrable wall.  The guilds birth the baby; The Oscars lap up their afterbirth.

Why is this, well, when the guild said yes to Apollo 13 (The Color Purple came out at a time when there wasn’t a PGA or a SAG)  against the Academy’s designation of Ron Howard’s omission, the Academy said nope.  But this year, they’re expected to say yes – part of that is due to Argo’s unstoppable momentum, which caught fire after (and only after) Zero Dark Thirty’s demise. That, with Affleck’s snub, plus Argo being a likable movie helped voters choose one out of a handful of exceptional films this year.  The critics were set to rally around Zero Dark Thirty but they fled their consensus pick and began to embrace Argo.  With the critics and the guilds, Argo now, even without the crucial director stat, will win Best Picture.

That means, Academy history, for the most part, has been tossed.  Every known stat, tossed.  You will say, well what about Driving Miss Daisy? And I will say, Bruce Beresford, the lucky bastard, wasn’t nominated for a Globe or a DGA.  Moreover, Daisy had the most nominations and had made the most money. That movie this year is Lincoln.

Nominations wise, Argo is either 4th or 5th in line, depending on how you choose to count it. If you simply count the numbers of nominations without making two films that got the same number a separate count (like Les Miserables being number 3, and Silver Linings being 4 even though they both have 8 nominations) Argo is 4th. If you count all of the films as placeholders, Argo comes in at fifth.  Either way, every film that’s won in either of those rankings has had a director nomination.

Here is how our math wonk Marshall Flores describes it, ”

Just to clarify about ranking – the ranking system I use (dense ranking) doesn’t introduce gaps as a result of ties – which is why Argo is 4th under that system in nominees behind Les Mis and SLP, which tie for third. In the typical competitive ranking system, there are gaps, so Les Mis and SLP still tie for third, but since there are 2 films tied for 3rd for place, we skip over 4th place and jump to Argo, which is then 5th.

That’s the big stat that this year will be breaking – and in so doing we now have to conclude two things about Oscars with a preferential ballot. 1) the guilds rule, but especially the PGA and the DGA.  2) having no director nomination means little to nothing anymore.

Other stats I know of this year:

Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest nominee and Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest.

Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg are now the most nominated producers in Academy history, Kennedy is the most nominated without a win.

Jennifer Lawrence would be the 3rd youngest winner, behind Marlee Matlin (21) and Janet Gaynor (22).

Emmanuelle Riva would be the oldest, beating Jessica Tandy who was 80 at the time of her win.

Daniel Day-Lewis, should he win, will become the first actor in Academy history to win three best actor Oscars.

Steven Spielberg, should he win, will become only the fourth director in Academy history to win more than two directing Oscars, joining William Wyler, Frank Capra and John Ford, who holds the record with four.

Zero Dark Thirty is the only film this year with a female in the lead role.  Jessica Chastain is the only leading actress who doesn’t exist as a partner to a male lead.

Kathryn Bigelow joins a list of “snubbed” female best directors, like Penny Marshall (Awakenings) and Barbra Streisand (Prince of Tides and Yentyl, although the latter wasn’t nominated for BP – it might have been if they allowed for more than five).

Ang Lee‘s appearance in the Best Director race always results in a picture/director mix-up. For Sense and Sensibility, you had Ron Howard, Apollo 13 and Braveheart, for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon you had Gladiator and Steven Soderbergh for Traffic, for Brokeback Mountain you had Crash and now, you have Argo and Ben Affleck and … fill in the blank?

90% of participants in our forums currently have predicted David O. Russell to win Best Director. If that happens, he will break the stat that’s been in place since the beginning of the DGA, in 1949, that no director without a DGA nomination has ever won Best Director.

If Lincoln or Life of Pi win Picture and Director on Sunday it will become the first film to win without a previous Globe or DGA, Eddie or WGA win.

Basically, if any film wins on Sunday they will have to make history to do so. That in itself is a pretty wild stat.

Know of any others?






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  • filmboymichael

    Braveheart won Pic/Dir

  • filmboymichael

    As much as it pains me to say that….

  • Pierre de Plume

    I wish not to forget that the critics helped The Hurt Locker win – though that was an odd year because of the writer’s strike.

    Another factor about Driving Miss Daisy that makes Argo’s probable win even more notable is that the former film was a hot commodity even before shooting began. What helped drive Daisy (oops, pun) was its revered status as an award-winning play. Daisy was a much-sought-after role. The absence of a nod for the film’s director seems to have lost some of its impact because the material itself — plus the lead actors and subject matter — were considered so strong.

  • Victor Barreto

    “Kathryn Bigelow joins a list of “snubbed” female best directors, like Penny Marshall (Awakenings) and Barbra Streisand (Prince of Tides and Yentyl).”

    I didn’t understand this one. Bigelow won before, plus Yentl wasn’t nominated for BP. What did you use to define them as “best directors”?

  • Sasha Stone

    I never said Braveheart didn’t, was referring to the film it beat, the DGA winner, Apollo 13.

  • Sasha Stone

    I didn’t understand this one. Bigelow won before, plus Yentl wasn’t nominated for BP. What did you use to define them as “best directors”?

    That’s true – if there had been more than five BP nominees it probably would have been in there – it was a big deal at the time that she was “snubbed”

  • JLaw would only be the third youngest winner in Best Actress, not over all categories.

    Jessica Tandy is only the current oldest Best Actress winner, again, not over all categories.

    You might want to clarify that above.

    Also, do you mean that Quvenzhane Wallis is this year’s youngest nominee, or Oscar history’s? She is the former, and isn’t the latter.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    90% for Russell? Geez. Could SLP win BD and nothing else?

  • Zooey

    @ Sasha, there is more..

    1. If Kushner wins, he’ll become the first ever person to win an Oscar, a Tony, a Pulitzer and an Emmy. Here I could be wrong but I believe that I am not. Let’s hope he can pull it off.

    2. If Riva wins, she’ll become only the second actor in the history of SAG to win an Oscar without a SAG nomination. Marcia Gay Harden holds that record. And Waltz could join her.

    3. (a funny fact) If Day-Lewis wins, the tradition will be held. It started with Adrien Brody who won best actor in 2002 for portraying a real life character, then presented to Charlize Theron who won for portraying a real person. She presented to Jamie Foxx. He presented to Reese Witherspoon. She presented to Forest Whitaker. He presented to Marion Cotillard. And even though Marion didn’t present it, Sean Penn won best actor for a real person the next year. And he presented to Bullock for another real person. She presented to Colin Firth, who presented to Meryl and now Meryl presents it to Day-Lewis. Do you think it could go on? Wouldn’t it be fun?

    4. If Amour wins screenplay, it’ll be the first winner without any major win prior to Oscar night since The Usual Suspects in 1995.

    5. If Zeitlin, David O. Russell, Spielberg or Lee win, it’ll be the first time since 1985 when a director wins without any major precursors. If Haneke wins, he has the NSFC.

    @ Pierre,

    the strike wasn’t that year.

  • Spacey

    Taking into account global box office, isn’t “Life of Pi” the highest grossing nominated film with a half a billion dollar BO?

    I loved “Pi” and I love Ang Lee; I just loved “Lincoln” more. It’s probably too late, but now that “Lincoln” is inexplicably out of contention, I hope “Pi” takes it. I hope there’s enough Mark Whalberg’s in the Academy to give the top two prizes to a beautiful film that plays as great cinema in THE MOVIE THEATRE.

  • Singinghotdog

    Why do you insist on saying that because there is no best directors nod, it makes Argo a weak film. In any other year the the nominations would have come out at a later date, (after Globes etc…) and Affleck gets his nod, and we are not even having this conversation. The Academys f*@k up shouldn’t bring Argo down, and it doesn’t. Your exact words Sasha were “Argo is a great f’ing movie.”

    So are you going to make the argument if Speilberg wins director, that must make him the weakest Best Director winner ever having won absolutely NOTHING beforehand.

  • Zooey

    A very interesting thing: if SKYFALL upsets in sound mixing, we could see the biggest Oscar loser win an Oscar!! And it’s even likely.

    It could be the first year since 2002 when both writing Oscar winners lost (or weren’t nominated by) the WGA.

    It could be only the fourth time in history when an actor wins a second acting Oscar for a performance directed by the filmmaker that directed the actor when they won their first – Waltz. Diane Wiest, Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan achieved that.

  • Zooey

    Come on, even if the nominations were after the Globes, Affleck would have been snubbed. He was considered a sure thing even before the DGA announced. We all knew it would be:

    (maybe) Lee
    … and somebody else..

  • Scotty

    These stats are seriously interesting.

    Jack Nicholson actually won his third Academy Award with the same director who directed the movie in which Nicholson won his second.

  • Robert A.

    “But this year, they’re expected to say yes – part of that is due to Argo’s unstoppable momentum, which caught fire after (and only after) Zero Dark Thirty’s demise.”

    This seems a little bit like the post hoc logical fallacy, assuming that because A (ZD30’s takedown in the media) happened before B (Argo’s surge), that A caused (or contributed to) B happening, when in fact, there could be no casual link at all. ZD30’s demise happened relatively early in the award-giving season. It’s entirely possible that even if ZD30 never suffered its controversial backlash, that Argo would still have become the frontrunner once we reached BFCA/Globe/guilds stage. It’s not uncommon for a movie that starts the awards season winning a lot of the critical prizes to end up not being the industry favorite once we hit the guilds. We simply can’t know how much (if any) real impact the kneecapping of ZD30 had on Argo’s momentum.

    I’m also hesitant to talk in absolutes about the critics having zero impact on Oscar voters. Yes, in 2010 the industry preferred a different movie to the critical favorite. That doesn’t mean the critics now have zero influence or AMPAS is always going to go for something different. As Pierre pointed out, the year previously, 2009, The Hurt Locker was the overwhelming critical favorite…and AMPAS voted it BP as well. Last year The Artist was the NYFC winner for BP, and the Academy’s as well. Some years the critical voices and the AMPAS voices match, and in some years they don’t. I also doubt that the directors branch now has zero impact on the industry. This year was an anomaly, I think, and not a demonstration that the vote of the directors branch doesn’t matter from here on out. I think AMPAS generally pays vast attention to the directors branch and will continue to do so. Maybe this year is just suggestive that AMPAS isn’t going to be a slave to the directors branch? (After all, BP is supposed to represent the BP in the judgment of the entire Academy, not only the directors branch.)

  • Zooey

    Of course Riva could join Loren, Benigni and Cotillard and win for a performance in a foreign language film.

    If Riva wins and Amour wins foreign, it will join Life is Beautiful as the only film ever to have both foreign and actress.

    How long has it been since the last film that got an Oscar nod for best picture without any guilds’ love – Amour is there! And Beasts of the Southern Wild has only a PGA nod.

    If Watts or De Niro somehow win, they’ll join Coburn who was the last to win an acting Oscar without any precursors love.

    Waltz could become the first acting winner Tarantino directed!!!

    Another stat: Waltz could win a second supporting Oscar for a LEADING role!

    If the list winners looks something like:
    David O. Russell (please Oscar, don’t do that!)



    we will have 6 different movies winning for the first time since 2005. Unlikely, because I believe TLJ has the Oscar!

  • Karl

    Isn’t Walis a female lead in Beasts of the Southern Wild without being a partner to a male?
    Other than this I agree with your point about Chastain and realize it’s an adult role as opposed to Walis. The only nominated female adult role not a partner of a male.

  • I’ve been up on the Emmanuelle Riva SAG stat for a while now, but Zooey has enlightened me with her comments on this thread. I love the one about the real life character tradition!

    However, Zooey, the stat regarding Greg P. Russell winning for Skyfall is incorrect. He’s not the biggest Oscar loser – 16 nominations without a win is significant, but his oft-collaborator Kevin O’Connell has been nominated 20 times, famously, and has yet to win. He’s not nominated this year, alas.

  • Zoo I

    Your two consecutive statements on waltz have left me rofl.
    You have no right to be on this site. Dumbo….!

  • Is there also this year the least amount of counting time for the Price, Waterhoue, Cooper peeps to count the ballots between the close of the voting date and the Awards?

  • Zoo I

    Waltz won a supporting Oscar for a leading role in Inglorious bastards which was directed by guess who! Idiot Zooey! Lol

  • Aaron B

    “Argo” worse than “Cavalcade?” Than “The Great Ziegfeld?” Really? I would much rather watch “Argo” again.

  • Zooey

    @ Zoo I,

    and what makes me an idiot? Be nice enough to share it..

  • Zoo I

    @stephen holt
    Did you just donate your pea nut sized brains to the dogs?
    Those votes are not supposed to be counted manually. Ever realised which age are we living in? Lol

  • Zoo I

    Tarantino directed basterds! Got it?
    Or do you need anymore elaboration???

  • JohnOliver46

    Sasha, I totally agree with you, the director of the best film should be awarded. Heck, it was his coordination and vision that structured the film.
    So, here’s a little twist-if Argo wins and they can’t give it to Affleck, why not award Michael Haneke the best director for the best foreign language film, Amour.

  • Terometer

    “When Argo wins Best Picture it will be the weakest Best Picture winner since 1932′s Grand Hotel.”

    How can Argo not winning when conventional and dull movie like Lincoln was in competition? haha.

  • Kane

    @Singinghotdog, I could be wrong but I feel Sasha meant that the weaker film in the best picture lineup won. She doesn’t believe Argo is a “weak” film, actually she’s said a lot of great things about it. But does she feel it deserves best picture? No.

    I on the other hand loved Argo to pieces. Do I feel it deserves best picture over Lincoln? Yes. Is it my 1st choice for best picture out of the lineup? No, that would be Zero Dark Thirty. If I had a ballot my best picture choice would be The Master. Upon 2nd viewing though, I feel Argo does deserve best editing (the opening is still stunning) and is a strong contender for adapted screenplay, hard for me to say if it’s better than Lincoln, which I want to watch again.

  • Zooey

    Haha, that’s because I was thinking of Spielberg and Day-Lewis.
    Anyway, yeah, it is funny.
    But go and call somebody else dumb and idiot.

  • Mr-Cinema

    I mentioned this before and I think it’s correct. Riva would become the first Best Actress winner that didn’t receive a SAG nomination.

  • Sasha Stone

    “Argo” worse than “Cavalcade?” Than “The Great Ziegfeld?” Really? I would much rather watch “Argo” again.

    Who said “worse”? Why do I have to keep explaining this?

    Life of Pi – 11
    Les Mis, Silver Linings-8
    Argo – 7

    With no director nomination and at that nominations rank Argo is on the level of Grand Hotel in terms of strength. Best Picture strength is measured by nominations rank and having a best director nomination.

    Okay, school’s out for the day.

  • Sasha Stone

    This seems a little bit like the post hoc logical fallacy, assuming that because A (ZD30′s takedown in the media) happened before B (Argo’s surge),

    It did. I did a timeline of events. It is very clearly a sequence. Silver Linings won Toronto. Argo faded. Zero Dark Thirty was seen. Argo faded even more. Zero Dark Thirty won the NY Film Critics…torture controversy … Argo won Critics Choice (which should have gone to Zero Dark Thirty) and Globe (ditto). Not saying Argo would have picked up momentum but there is no denying the sequence of events based on what we know about critics and how they usually vote.

  • Sasha Stone

    Why do you insist on saying that because there is no best directors nod, it makes Argo a weak film.

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

  • Zoo I, do you have some issues which we ought to know about before somebody takes your ass down cos of your apparent ignorance and stupidity?

  • Thang Tran

    Really, the worst BP since 1932 if Argo wins??? You lose so much credibility by making this kind of exaggeration.

    So you are saying that the minute number of members of Dir Academy Branch (375) that failed to nominate Affleck for Best Dir is more meaningful than the 120,000 SAG, 4700 PGA, 6500 BAFTA, etc members that say he’s the best Dir? True, The SAG and PGA don’t have best director categories but they voted for Best Pic and as you stated the Director is the movie, then they are voting for Affleck.

    The PGA result was not because of the outrage for Affleck Oscar-snub as voting ended before Oscar nominations were announced.

    You cited that Lincoln B.O. number is better than Argo as one of the reason for your case, this is cherry-picking facts as you used the popularity number here but absolutely refuse it in every other occasions, see above.

    I wished that you would not take the results of Oscar so seriously when they don’t agree with your opinion. I saw same thing the year King’s Speech won. IMO, you dropped out of Gold Derby cause of frustration w/ Argo sweeps.

    Why can’t you just have a Will Win and Should Win picks like all the Oscar sites like Deadline, Wrap, In Contention, Hollywood Elsewhere (your nemesis)? Why must your Should Win is same as Will Win???

    I follow your site as you provide links to others so don’t get all bent out of shape when you opinion is not the same the Oscar voters!!! IT’S A CONTEST ABOUT MOVIES FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.

  • singinghotdog

    @Sasha…that was an intelligent response.

    “Oh for fuck’s sake.”

    So if Affleck had a directors nod, somehow that makes the film better and more worthy? Can’t you chalk anything top to human error…as in the Academy? All the Oscar Pundits and predictors love to complain how the Academy got this wrong and that wrong, but then to an about face and say the Academy is gospel.

    talk about for fucks sake.

  • Zooey

    @ singinghotdog

    come on! what Sasha is trying to say and I think it’s obvious is that hasn’t it been for the big snub narrative this year, predicting Argo would be something like predicting Inception to win in 2010. This is because ARGO doesn’t feel like a winner if you look at the nominations. It’s not as if the film has the year’s most nominations, numerous acting nods and a directing nod. And it matters. With weak Sasha meant a weak case for a best picture winner. It has nothing to do with quality, just with stats.

  • singinghotdog

    Well Said Thang Tran.

  • “It is up to you to decide the film’s worth.”

    Yay! Ok, well then Argo is the 9th best movie of 2012. About half of the Best Pic nominees are better. So that’s settled.

  • KT

    I don’t think 90% of people in the forum think Russell is going to win. When I was looking, I saw he was in the lead and Spielberg was a close second.

  • Matt

    It seems that this article argues that a Best Picture winner’s strength is based on a director nomination and number of nominations.

    There is no reason the director members of AMPAS should be the arbiter of what’s good or not based on what they nominate. This is the same subset of AMPAS that has nominated, what – 3-4 women and 3-4 people of color in all its years of existence.

    As far as who has the most nominations, while that is important to some people, I don’t really care about most of the technical nominations. A movie gets nominated for Costume, Makeup or Score – that doesn’t translate to strength of movie to me – it goes into consideration, but WAY down the list of what I consider strong movies. How does the film rate in what I personally consider the important nominations? Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook got all the important ones. Argo missed Director. Zero Dark Thirty missed Director. Life of Pi missed Acting. Amour missed Editing. Beasts of the Southern Wild missed Editing. Django missed Director and Editing. Les Mis missed Screenplay, Director and Editing. Based on this view, Les Mis is clearly the weakest. I don’t base my favorites on this criteria, but it is taken into consideration. FWIW, my ranking would be Life of Pi, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Amour, Lincoln and Les Miserables. The great thing about this year – all of these movies are really good to great (except for maybe Les Mis). I can’t always say that most years, even when there were only 5 nominees.

  • menyc

    I may be the only person that wishes BP and BD split more often. If they must always match I don’t really understand why BD should even exist.

    I can live with Brokeback’s BP loss because Lee won and he deserved it very much. I could live with The King’s Speech BP win if Fincher had won BD. (sidenote: I was actually at a Movieline Oscar party that year and yelled out “F*&k You, Academy” when it happened and got a huge rousing ovation.)

    Does anyone think AMPAS chooses BP correctly more than 30% of the time in history? I don’t. I look at the years of split as a badge of honor for the directors that won in those situations.

  • Bennett

    Dear you, Sasha, I personally think you are being extremely unfair and mean by saying, by your own criteria, a Best Picture strengh “is measured by nominations rank and having a best director nomination”. Oh, come on… don´t disguise your Argo anticampaign and hate using a fake statement like that one.

    Best Picture strengh is NOT measured by number of nominations nor best director nomination. Simply as that: ARGO is, whether you like it or not, the STRONGEST best picture contender this year, although it doesn´t have what you think it should have to be your Best Picture. Argo has BAFTA, WGA, PGA, DGA, GG, SAG, BFCA, and a lot of other recognition inside the industry. To this film belongs the highest RT score of the year. It has a very high MC score. It was praised at the very first moment by one of the most important critic nowadays (Roger Ebert). It is produced by one of the most popular actor of our time, Clooney, and directed by another one. It tells a singular true story about America, by an american once unknown hero, and was given the support of one of the most popular and politically conscient former President, Carter. It had a tremendous Box Office (something The Hurt Locker and The Artist didn’t) in America and worldwide.

    Tell me, where is Argo’s weakness? I’m unable to see it. I dare to say it has a LOT of strengh to win it. The only nomination it misses is director. It’s even nominated in categories it was not expected to (sound mixing, sound editing, score).

    So, in my opinion, you are making terrorism. With all due respect (I hope I’m not deleted or blocked). Once I wrote here something you didn’t wanted to read, very respectfully, and you replied saying AD is your site, this is your opinion, and if I don’t like it, I should get out and find a website connected with my own thinking. I hope, with this, I don´t get the same answer.

    I just disagree with your arguments and told why.

    By the way, I still think Lincoln will be the winner (BP, BD, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and many others).

  • Sammy

    Lincoln’s missing thing is some creative directing. Spielberg’s directing clearly failed. Look at the ensemble acting – bad acting and cartoon characters AND the movie is NOT flowing which is unacceptable. Overall, Lincoln is not a movie of best picture material.

    Argo has the same problems to some degree but its pace is good. A more watchable movie and that is why it is getting the awards. It is not a masterpiece and but its competition is weak.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I just placed a bet in four shaky categories, hoping to win about 2000€. I will tell you after the show if I have won, because they’re not frontrunners.

  • Jason Travis

    90% predicting Russell? On what grounds? He has no DGA nomination and isn’t the most liked director in the industry. Think about it- he’s known for getting into fist fights (most recently with George Clooney) and his BAFTA behavior should have turned a lot of voters off. I don’t see how they’ll want to award him Best Director over Lee, Spielberg and Haneke. It’s logic that doesn’t make sense.

  • JohnOliver46

    Zooey / February 20, 2013
    @ Sasha, there is more..

    1. If Kushner wins, he’ll become the first ever person to win an Oscar, a Tony, a Pulitzer and an Emmy. Here I could be wrong but I believe that I am not. Let’s hope he can pull it off.

    Zooey, what would you call that-a POTE? and if he wins a grammy-a POTEG?

  • JohnOliver46

    Zooey, also, accoding to your theory, Day-Lewis could present to Viola Davis as Barbara Jordan. I would hope your theory works.

  • Robert A.

    “So, in my opinion, you are making terrorism.”

    Huh? Sasha is now a terrorist? Jeez, I leave AD for a few hours and look what happens.

  • Alex Brando

    Honestly Sasha, you’re not the only one to think that the best picture winner is not the best film of the year. (or even of the nominated in the category)In fact, I think that a majority of people think that! (majority of non-Academy-millions-around-the-world)

    BUT – Argo is a good movie, in fact a Spilbergian-good movie, so why don’t we look at it from the good side – it will give the problem of Oscar-inadequacy more spotlight by sharply demonstrating how a movie that is brilliantly directed would be crowned BP without a Director nomination. And on the other side, it will show how in a year of brilliant movies, the Oscars go for the one that “sailed the most smoothly through the race”, to use your words. (or idea) It’s a problem because when people check Best Picture winners or IMDB or sth, they see names like The King’s Speech, which they are NEVER EVER gonna sit through and love, or think they are deserving. Normal people, who don’t care about glamour, snobbish kings, etc, etc. Should we once again recall the long list of names: Citizen Kane, Vertigo..

  • Zooey

    It probably won’t happen because I doubt the Barbara Jordan biopic is a 2013 release.

  • d.p

    So Sasha-

    If Spielberg wins BD, would that make him the weakest BD winner since….?

    No major critics awards (NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA…DC, SF…)
    No DGA, HFPA, BAFTA (no nom), Critics choice WIN

    Same question for Lincoln.
    No major critics awards (NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA…DC, SF…)
    No DGA, HFPA, BAFTA, SAG, or Critics choice WIN

    Slumdog (10) won over Benjamin even though Benjamin had more (13) nominations (+1 more than Lincoln). A Beautiful Mind overcame its 8 noms to Fellowship of the Ring’s 13 (13 must be an unlucky number) to win best pic (yeah, yeah…it had best dir nom). Had Argo had a BD nom, it would have been more like Beautiful Mind.

  • Sasha Stone

    If Spielberg wins BD, would that make him the weakest BD winner since….?

    You’re going to throw BAFTA stats at me seriously? Have you done your homework about BAFTA? Toss it. Forget the critics too. The only question up for grabs is DGA or Globe. Period.

    And that is the only weakness Spielberg has. In the past Out of Africa and Braveheart both won at the Globes ONLY, not the DGA. So we’re really only talking about breaking a Globe stat if Spielberg wins. Compare that to every other nominee in the director category and you have the most likely. In the past, except for twice, in a split picture or director goes to the film with the most nominations. Usually that’s picture, while director follows DGA. Director can’t follow DGA obviously. So any director can win. Ang Lee and Spielberg have the shortest route to that win. Spielberg most likely because of those 12 noms + 3 acting noms.

    There is no stronger BD in the category; there are stronger BPS in the category – with a director nomination at the very least. 12 for Lincoln, 11 for Pi and 8 for SLP automatically make them stronger as winners.

  • singinghotdog

    @d.p. Right there with you.

  • Andrew

    Good films win Oscars by how effective they’re campaigned to win votes. To get loyal supporters behind them, friends with ties. Like politics.

  • d.p

    @ Sasha

    Yes, I’m throwing BAFTA out there- in the same way that the pre-cursors just threw a Whatever to the Academy when they pulled a snub on Ben. Whatever. I’m throwing it out there cause they threw it out there for Fincher over Hooper (‘member that?). Bafta matters as of the past 10 years in the same way that Critics Choice has now mattered. They’ve changed their system. They adapted and are now relevant pre-cursors in my opinion.

    Since non of the BD noms won any of the pre-cursors, who wins? The argument are:
    1. Spielberg because he has the most noms
    2. Lee because he’s hit nominations in all of the per-cursors including Bafta
    3. Russell cause he filled up the acting nominations

    But instead of looking at the pre-cursors, you seem to be gasping for any argument against an Argo win:

    1. Best Pic winners should have a corresponding Best Dir nom
    2. Most nominated film ought to win
    3. Film where Sally Field go bonkers ought to win (it seems like the next logical argument)

    I don’t think Lincoln is the best film of the year, but if it wins, I’ll be really happy for you. But, whatever.

  • Question Mark

    The Affleck snub is directly because of the changed rules. That’s it. This isn’t some great mystery. This is like saying, “Oh wow, offense is up all over basketball, what could’ve caused this anomaly?” the year after they instituted the shot clock. Due to these changed Academy rules, past statistics therefore have little relevance on the 2012/13 Oscar race.

    Equating a lack of overall nominations or a lack of a directing nomination with “weakness” is a misnomer. For instance, if a movie DOES have a lot of nominations or a Best Director nomination, that certainly doesn’t make it a strong contender — to this I point you in the direction of movies like Turning Point, Benjamin Button, Song of Bernadette and other heavily-nominated films that were actually pretty mediocre-to-bad.

    Obviously Lincoln/Life of Pi/Silver Linings Playbook/Les Miserables were going to have more nominations than a film like Argo since those four have either a) more showier parts and bigger-name stars to attract acting nods and/or b) are period pieces or FX extravaganzas that will clean up in the technical and artistic categories where Argo cannot.

  • The Affleck snub is directly because of the changed rules

    which rules would those be?

  • CMG

    Why are some Argonauts (like Kris Tapley) in denial that Argo’s rise back into leader had a lot to do with what happened to other films and their relationships to critics and the Hollywood community? Lincoln, well that became a paper lion when it won nothing beyond script and actor with the critics (seemed it was counted on the industry and the guilds) but the fall of Les Miz with critics and ZD30 getting shunned by critics who originally celebrated it did factor in. Also not ignoring Dreamworks/Fox and Sony really made different mistakes in how they campaigned (and in Sony’s case rolled out the film with a wide gap between critics who saw it, pundits who pretend who saw it, and average moviegoer who could see it).

    I think Argo takes 2 or 3. There are many ways it could just take one (more rally around the ZD30 editors and Russell emerging with Adapted Screenply/Kushner rightly getting his Oscar). At most it takes 4 (if people really want to reward Alexandre Desplat). But I cannot seeing it going home empty-handed, even if I think it should and was already over-nominated to begin with.

  • “I don’t think 90% of people in the forum think Russell is going to win. When I was looking, I saw he was in the lead and Spielberg was a close second.

    Well, to be fair, KT, I gave that info to Sasha yesterday when there was only like one page of predix in the Gold Rush Oscar contest and 90% of those who submitted Best Director predictions had O. Russell as their first choice. But I got my numbers from Gold Rush, not the Best Director poll.

    Now as more people have submitted their predictions, it’s more like 65% predicting O. Russell – still a pretty significant percentage for a totally unprecedented victory – and this is regardless of my antipathy for SLP.

  • g2

    “‘it will be the weakest Best Picture winner since 1932′s Grand Hotel.”

    Yah, right. How about when Crash won only because the old geezers voted for Crash only because they were a bunch of homophobes

  • eeixhdomebaxk with AVENGEANCE

    Everyone take note of sashas opening Line of the article dead set spot on most of u would agree:.Argo: the weakest and I add worst best picture winner to be since 1932!

    Oscar thisis a record that is a dreadfully low level for u to stoop to break such a record that not the way to make film history. It a way to make this the most wasted Oscar year for bout 75 yrs not cool Oscar not at all

  • Sammy

    Russell and Spielberg should not have been nominated for best director this year. This a huge mistake of the Academy. Everybody here is talking about a Spieberg BD win at the Oscars just looking at the nominations tally of Lincoln. That is amazing and that would be a true travesty. Give it to Lee, Haneke or Zeitlin but not Spielberg.

  • Thang Tran

    The Affleck snub is directly because of the changed rules

    which rules would those be?

    Oscar nominations date moving up!

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