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