Beautiful shot. Kent Jones’ article isn’t online but it’s reportedly worth the $5.95 newsstand price of admission all by itself.
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Way back last fall, when the awards season had barely begun, I was absolutely certain that Lincoln was on its way to dominating the race. I mean, their campaign seemed picture perfect – the narrative about crew members wearing period clothing, the attention to historical detail, the video that Spielberg and others created, etc.
Then something happened. It was too perfect and – most of all, in retrospect – too soon, for we all know what happens when a film’s prospects peak too soon.
That said, things could conceivably come around. The smart money is now clearly with Argo. But if any one voting body can be swayed back, it’s AMPAS. My guess is that industry veterans like Spielberg and Field are disappointed, for sure, that their film isn’t doing as well right now as hoped. But they’ve been around long enough to see it all in perspective.
Now that the dirty campaigning is in full swing, it’s more than a little weird to see that Lincoln has become better (or worse) than originally thought and that Argo, likewise, has become better (or worse) depending on which side of the fence our little toe was pointed before all the excitement began.
I think the race is beyond campaigning. Let’s be honest. The only thing standing between “Argo” and a total win at the Oscars is that missing Best Director nod, but at this point that doesn’t mean anything. The Affleck snub for director is as significant as Slumdog missing acting nods. Usually that would matter, but if you consider a juggernaut that gradually gained it’s speed throughout the oscar season, nothing can stand in it’s way. Not even a director snub.
i’d commented here on this issue of FILM COMMENT a couple of weeks ago. what is interesting is that their choices for the 20 best films of the year DID NOT include ARGO. also, they list nearly 40 top ten lists of their editors and other film critics around the world and ARGO appears on just one list.
Koleś, no one expected Slumdog to win any Oscars for its acting. Sure, Dev Patel could have been nominated in Supporting if really wanted to play category fraud. But as much as Slumdog was a great human story, it was not an actor’s movie. Affleck on the other hand is the FACE of Argo. Not only does he star in it, but he directed and produced it. He’s a big deal in Hollywood. The film was acclaimed as his triumph, and it has won every Best Director precursor to the Oscar, something that Spielberg and Howard couldn’t even do in their years. The snub probably won’t matter, and perhaps it shouldn’t matter, but it’s certainly a bigger deal and more suspect than an epic or a real juggernaut missing out on acting nods.
International Cinephile Society winners announced:
(can somebody hook me up with a high-res jpg of this Film Comment cover?)
Ryan, where is your Life of Pi write up? Did you forget?
“Koleś, no one expected Slumdog to win any Oscars for its acting.”
No one expects “Argo” to win any acting oscars neither. Arkin winning would be the shocker of the night, but that’s not going to happen. But still “Argo” the same way as “Slumdog” won the SAG for ensamble. Affleck might be the face of it all, but in no category is he nominated as “just Ben Affleck”. He only has the BP nod and we all know Clooney is going to give the acceptance speach for that one.
“The film was acclaimed as his triumph, and it has won every Best Director precursor to the Oscar, something that Spielberg and Howard couldn’t even do in their years.”
That’s something that really bugs me. Not in terms that Affleck got all these awards without actually deserving it. The thing that bugs me the most is that we have no clear guideline to show us who might actually win director without Affleck in the mix. I cannot recall any awards race where you actually knew what movie would win BP, but you had no idea who will win director.
“The snub probably won’t matter, and perhaps it shouldn’t matter, but it’s certainly a bigger deal and more suspect than an epic or a real juggernaut missing out on acting nods.”
“Slumdog” missing acting nod might look like nothing much, but consider this. “Slumdog” is nominated nominated for the same categories “Argo” is – that means cut out Song x2, Cinematography, DIRECTOR, but Dev Patel gets in the top five. Does “Slumdog” still win? With SAG, DGA, WGA and PGA I say it does.
I just need to look at this cover and Daniel Day-Lewis’s great performance – no, not just great, it was an awesome performance – comes back to my mind: his small gestures, his fragility, him telling stories or his conversations full of spirit – whether with his party members or his family members. Unforgettable.
I cannot recall any awards race where you actually knew what movie would win BP, but you had no idea who will win director.
Well, we actually don’t “know” what movie will win BP. We have a good idea, but an Argo win with a director split is just as weird, historically speaking, as a Lincoln/Spielberg surprise.
And — just for the record — Dev Patel was nominated for both the SAG and BAFTA supporting actor awards plus he won a slew of best newcomer-type awards.
“Well, we actually don’t “know” what movie will win BP. We have a good idea, but an Argo win with a director split is just as weird, historically speaking, as a Lincoln/Spielberg surprise.”
Allow me to rephrase. Has any movie that won PGA, SAG, DGA and WGA (that’s a gamble, but I still say “Argo” has WGA in the bag) ever lost BP? The answer is no. “Argo” is a sho-in for BP. If Affleck would be nominated for Director no one sane would even consider a split. “Argo” wins BP. Director goes to any of the five gentelmen, I have no fucking idea who might that be.
With all those guild wins for an emotionally rich, rags-to-riches, multicultural crowdpleaser like Slumdog, sure. But then I’d wonder why it was snubbed in those categories in the first place. Argo only has one major snub, and this year will prove whether it can be overcome (sure looks like it). But until that happens, it’s for the most part unprecedented, especially for a film that was EXPECTED to be nominated for, and probably even win, Director. No matter how you slice it, this year is just all kinds of wrong.
And I don’t know how or why not ONE award-voting group didn’t vote for Affleck, and yet he’s not up for the Oscar. It sucks because whoever wins the Oscar will forever be footnoted as the guy who won when Affleck was snubbed despite winning everything else. That’s not fair to the winner — especially if Spielberg or Lee wins, since they are more deserving than Affleck in the first place.
Well, I have to agree with Koles’s response here. As weird as the director snub is, it’s happened before, once in recent history with Driving Miss Daisy. And ignoring Affleck’s snub, Picture/Director splits are uncommon but always on the table. But a movie winning every guild and not winning Best Picture? It’s never happened, not since the inception of the PGA and the WGA and the SAG.
Moreover, no film has won Best Picture without at least ONE major guild win.
How ironic that the PGA started giving out awards in the Driving Miss Daisy year, as if to make a difference.
Now if Argo loses the WGA, we have a realistic opening. Though if SLP beats it, we have the DGA stat to contend with.
“It sucks because whoever wins the Oscar will forever be footnoted as the guy who won when Affleck was snubbed despite winning everything else.That’s not fair to the winner — especially if Spielberg or Lee wins”
Thats why I think they will give it to Haneke. A Spielberg/Lee win would feel strange after they snubbed Affleck, who won nearly all other BD awards.
“But until that happens, it’s for the most part unprecedented, especially for a film that was EXPECTED to be nominated for, and probably even win, Director.”
The only reason Affleck was snubbed for a nod (not the win) is the date change. If the DGA would have green lit “the guy from Daredevil” the AMPAS would have totally gone for that, hands down. Just consider the same situation we have right now, but Affleck is nominated for Director and “Argo” has 8 nods, “Lincoln” still has 12 and “Life of Pi” has 11. With all the BAFTAs, Globes and Guilds “Argo” still wins, by a fucking mile or two. I still say at this point the direcor snum means shit.
“It sucks because whoever wins the Oscar will forever be footnoted as the guy who won when Affleck was snubbed despite winning everything else.”
I object. Oliver Stone is not footnoted as the guy who lost to Bruce Beresford.
“I object. Oliver Stone is not footnoted as the guy who lost to Bruce Beresford.”
Bruce Beresford didnt win DGA and Globes or BAFTA, Affleck did.
Just imagine you’re back in 1990 and saying these words – “Stone, Wier, Sheridan, Allen and Branagh will forever be footnoted as the men who lost to Bruce Beresford who should have won.”
Stone won globes and DGA.
Why should anybody say he will be footnoted as the men who lost to Bruce Beresford who should have won.
Beresford didnt win any imprtant director award (unlike Affleck this year)
“Driving Miss Daisy” also won the Globes. Maybe not the “significant” Globes, but still three of them. Also at the BAFTAS “DMD” had a better score than “Born on the Fouth of July”. DMD was nominated for Picture, Diretor, Screenplay and won Actress. BotFoJ was nominated only for Actor and Screenplay. DMD won the PGA and had 9 Oscar nods, BotFoJ had “only” 8. The simple truth is that “Driving Miss Daisy” was the movie to win that year, if it had a Director nod it would have been even more obvious (same as “Argo”). Not a win to be liked, but still it happened. My point is you simply can’t say that Haneke, Spielberg, Lee, Russell or Zeitlin are going to be branded as the director who won because Affleck wasn’t nominated. IMHO at least three of them are masters of their craft and all of them have done exeptional work, same as the five men back in 1990. Nobody says that Stone won because Beresford wasn’t nominated and he doesn’t actually deserve it. Same thing’s gonna happen with Spielberg/Haneke/Lee/Zeitlin/Russell (in that order). One of them will win because the have directed the shit out their respectable movies.
we are talking about the director awards.
DMD did not win any director award, Affleck did (except OSCAR where he is snubbed)
You got it, Zach.
Zach, Pierre de Plume. stop that talk this instant! you guys are scaring the pee out of me.
Pierre de Plume,
I feel the same way. What happened? I thought Lincoln had everything going for it. It was ‘Oscar bait’, it was historical, the acting, screenplay, the subject matter, Speilberg. And it equaled if not exceeded expectations.
What went wrong?
Those very things you mentioned….and something else: those who worked on the film had such a reverent perspective of the film, their experience, the screenings to students and teachers, the wearing of suits and ties during filming, the hushed tone when DDL walked onto the set. There was a sense of ‘this is big’. And rightly so. All those involved in the film wore their passion on their sleeve when they spoke about it and when you hear DDL and Spielberg explain the process, you really feel their love and respect for the project, for Lincoln the man. They’re like kids who share this great love for something and are able to finally share it with everyone.
I love that about the film and I love that about the participants.
It’s not just some half-assed historical drama farted out in between films for these guys – it mattered to them.
And I think are culture today rejects that kind of sincerity and non-ironic art.
It’s almost uncool to care about the subject and want it to be viewed as something that MEANS SOMETHING. And that creates a backlash among a more cynical industry….it’s seen as ‘self-important, hagiography….as if making a movie about Abraham Lincoln and the abolishment of slavery is too ‘corny’ and ‘anachronistic’ without irony or kitsch. Remember that it’s done great with the public and critics. So who’s not getting it? Online pseudo film experts who spend too much time in their mother’s basement going to the movies alone. (ok, that’s just my perception and probably not fair…)
Sasha anticipated this way before the film was released, as if she was bracing herself for the cynicism in her beautiful post, “Selling a True Hero in the Age of Snark”. It remains the best answer to all this anti-Lincoln shyte.
Bottom line, Yvette, is, it’s only a movie. And the movie speaks for itself.
Very true, but it just irks to read all the negativity. Yes, it speaks for itself, but I wish everyone could hear what it’s saying.