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The State of the Race: The Winners Circle

winners

 

“Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

The stealthy Oscar campaign behind this year’s stunning victory lap by Ben Affleck and his Argo-movie-that-could are the same folks, not too surprisingly, who were behind Crash’s victory against Brokeback. This is a stealthy crew who don’t want you to know what they see coming a mile away.

When the race first began, it felt wide open.  Many of us believed that whatever won the Producers Guild would change the dynamics of the race. Why, because that would be ten films with a preferential ballot. Moreover, with a wide open race no one really knew what the consensus vote would be. We knew critics liked Zero Dark Thirty, and when it faltered, Argo — but the Academy, not so much.  Toronto likes Silver Linings and the Academy agreed. Critics didn’t award Lincoln, but the Academy did, with 12 nominations.

Finding director now will be tricky.  I don’t know what voters will do but I have my doubts they will reward Spielberg. If they were going to reward him for the high achievement that is Lincoln it would have shown up at the DGA.  As it is, I think I’ll have to bet that if Argo wins BP, Michael Haneke will win Director, Actress and Screenplay for Amour.

My hope would be that people, whereupon seeing Argo becoming winner-takes-all would back way off of their Lincoln hate but alas, such is not the case.  Hollywood-Elsewhere’s Jeff Wells, who thought Life of Pi would never go anywhere, that Beasts of the Southern Wild was too “ugly” for Oscar voters and that Argo was too ordinary or mediocre for Oscar voters has now dropped all of that just to continue (what he thinks is) beating Lincoln to the ground. It is the most bizarre thing.  His continual need to embarrass anyone who was predicting Lincoln — and come to that, many of the commenters here who feel that same need, act as though joining the general consensus and choosing Argo is some heroic feat.  Picking the predictable is anything but heroic — if anything, you get to hide behind the mob and avoid humiliation.

There are so many great movies brought to the public’s attention this year.  Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour, particularly, and to see those directors celebrated by the Academy is one of the coolest things I’ve seen the Academy do in 14 years. They broke with the consensus. They rebelled.  They said: for once we’re not going to do what everyone else says we have to do. For once, you can’t herd our choices into a pen — we decide.  But the combination of Argo being the choice of voters and Ben Affleck being a popular celebrity, made the vast amount of voters in the industry decide to override the directors.  If they override them at the Oscars it will be the first time in history such a thing has happened.  When Driving Miss Daisy won, its director wasn’t nominated for a Globe, a DGA or an Oscar. Ben Affleck winning the DGA, then not getting an Oscar nomination but winning Best Picture?  Never happened.

But I’m not going to bet against the Crash team to push this baby over the edge. Overriding the directors branch should be an easy enough feat.  What that will mean is that we will no longer look to the directors to lead the race.  We will no longer consider the directors branch to be powerful and, in fact, any film could win theoretically, whether the directors choose it or not. Funny, that.

Watching the rise and fall of Zero Dark Thirty no doubt contributed, at least in part, to Argo’s success.  I think the critics chose Argo because they had to abandon Zero Dark Thirty, but the industry has chosen Argo because it’s the only one they can all agree upon is best.  It’s a perfect storm, if you will.  The Globes and BFCA voters had their ballots in before Oscar nominations but Argo’s win immediately following Affleck’s “snub” was like fire on gasoline.

Here is a rough timeline of Zero Dark Thirty’s rise and fall:

Timeline:

  • September 16, 2012 – Argo loses to Silver linings Playbook at TIFF
  • December 3, 2012 – Zero Dark Thirty wins New York Film Critics award for Picture, Director
  • December 5, 2012 – Zero Dark Thirty wins National Board of Review Picture, Director, Actress
  • December 9, 2012 – Zero Dark Thirty wins Boston Film Critics Picture, Director, Screenplay
  • December 10, 2012 – Zero Dark Thirty wins Washington DC area film critics Picture, Director, Actress
  • December 10, 2012 – David Edelstein writes in his review that “Dick Cheney would have loved Zero Dark Thirty”
  • December 10, 2012 – Glenn Greenwald’s headline “Zero Dark Thirty: new torture-glorifying film wins raves
  • December 10, 2012Zero Dark Thirty torture debate
  • December 11, 2012CNN: Did torture really lead to Bin Laden?
  • December 12, 2012MSNBC Does Zero Dark Thirty promote torture?
  • December 12, 2012New York Times – torture scenes open reopen debate
  • December 12, 2012Hollywood Reporter – Zero Dark Thirty, how to sell it
  • December 13, 2012 – Argo wins San Diego Film Critics Picture, Director, Screenplay
  • December 16, 2012 – Argo wins Southeastern Film Critics Association
  • December 17, 2012 – Zero Dark Thirty wins Chicago Film Critics Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actress, Editing
  • December 18, 2012 – Argo wins the Florida Film Critics Picture, Director, Screenplay
  • In a December 19 letter to the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produced the film, three senators alleged it was “grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location” of bin Laden.
  • Friday, January 4th, 2013 – Naomi Wolf calls Kathryn Bigelow Leni Reifenstahl
  • Critics Choice ballots due — January 8, 2013
  • Oscar nominations — January 10, 2013 – Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck and Tom Hooper not nominated for director.
  • Critics Choice Awards — January 10, 2013 – Argo wins Picture, Director
  • Golden Globe Awards — January 13, 2013 – Argo wins Picture, Director
  • January 13, 2013 – Ed Asner and Martin Sheen send letter to Academy voters to boycott Zero Dark Thirty
  • January 15, 2013 – Kathryn Bigelow writes an op-ed defending Zero Dark Thirty
  • PGA/WGA/SAG ballot deadline — January 25, 2013
  • PGA Awards — January 26, 2013 – Argo wins
  • SAG Awards – January 27, 2013 – Argo wins ensemble
  • January 28, 2013 – Michael Moore launches defense of Zero Dark Thirty
  • January 30, 2013 — Martin Sheen retracts statements against Zero Dark Thirty
  • DGA Awards — February 2, 2013 – Argo wins DGA
  • February 8, 2013 – Oscar ballots are sent out.

That is one hell of a rise and fall.  I will always believe that Argo benefited from it – after all, Argo is the anti-Zero Dark Thirty. It’s a movie about the nice guy CIA doing nice guy things, funny thing, enlisting Hollywood with a thumping Led Zepplin vibe.  Men do all the work, women are to be protected and rescued.  Our enemies are chasing us but we get away, hero saves the day.  Neither Maya nor Tony Mendez ever got to take credit but by the end of Zero Dark Thirty you don’t want to see Maya collect awards but you do want to see Affleck as Mendez.  Everything Zero Dark Thirty is, Argo isn’t. Argo never pretended to be anything more than a good old fashioned crowdpleaser.  And Kathryn Bigelow has already won, Ben Affleck hasn’t.  So give him the Oscar — everybody wins.

The torture debate was still worth having. Zero Dark Thirty is still the better film. And so it goes. Awards aren’t everything.  What was it Luis Bunuel said about the Oscar? “Nothing would disgust me more morally than winning an Oscar.”

At the end of the day I will admit that it’s sad to see Lincoln get the shaft. But what can you do? You can’t make people “like” a movie they don’t.  And if you are looking for those kinds of accolades you mostly have to make films that don’t push out towards the edges but skate right down the middle. Audiences want to be soothed and entertained nowadays — hell, look at the previous two Oscar winners: The Artist, The King’s Speech and now, Argo — these are films that do not challenge us in any way.  They are solid, good films that no one hates.

But you can still write about the Oscar race without focusing on the end result.  That Beasts of the Southern Wild was rewarded for making a film with $1.8 million is incredible.  That Amour, a film in French, got Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actress is incredible.  That a live action short called Inocente introduces us to a vibrant artist who turned her invisible identity as an immigrant and her abusive past into art which bursts forth from her because it has nowhere else to go is incredible. That we now know who Rodriguez is thanks to Searching For Sugarman is incredible.

I understand that as I write this, I am hopefully offering some comfort for people who feel as I do, kind of weirded out by how voters turned their noses up at Spielberg’s beautifully written ode to Abe Lincoln that has really captured the public’s attention ($170 million) and their heart. But the Oscars have stopped being about the American public a long time ago.  And I understand that many readers and those who follow me on Twitter want to see more drama so that they can pile on the hate. Juicily.  But sorry, we’re all out of that.

Despite the way it’s all turning out it has been a great year for awards, where the rewards are woven delicately through the familiar strains of how the Oscars usually go. We must never forget we are here to celebrate films, not necessarily to only care about who wins the horse race. At least, that’s my hope.  This is why I keep reminding myself because I know how easy it is to forget how little all of it really means.

 

Life of Pi, Anna Karenina, Skyfall win Art Directors Guild Awards

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Argo Wins UK Regional Film Critics Award

300 Comments

  1. February 3, 2013

    If only Affleck would have been nominated for Best Director, then this win streak would all make sense and be, ultimately, acceptable. Or else maybe his nomination would have stopped this win streak from happening, we’ll never know. I just hate to see a film win BP without its director winning as well.

  2. Paul Gibbs
    February 3, 2013

    I refuse to count Spielberg and “Lincoln” out yet, if only because they SHOULD win. However, “Argo” is a great film, and Affleck is a great director. They wouod be my backup choices.

  3. Dwriter
    February 3, 2013

    Great analysis, Sasha. While I am not on the Lincoln bandwagon, I do agree that the industry’s abandonment of the film is puzzling. I think on Feb 24th, the Oscars will be spread out over several films, and I can even see Argo winning Picture and maybe editing and nothing else, while Lincoln picks up 4 (Director, Actor, S Actor and A Screenplay)…..is it possible, at the end of the evening, Life of Pi might actually take home the most statuettes? I can see it possibly nabbing 5 or 6 in the below the line categories….should be a wild evening.

  4. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I agree Mark but I really believe that without the “snub” so-called he wouldn’t be gaining this momentum. I think a BP win without director is a bad precedent but you can’t stop what’s coming. Hey Mark, thanks for you know, being deluded with me.

  5. February 3, 2013

    I’m lucky that you couldn’t depress me with a sledge hammer or this awards’ season would have me curled into a soggy mess. Lincoln should win and probably won’t. Jackman should win and probably won’t. What is basically a very entertaining chase film with no real universal themes or true originality probably will win. That just leaves me rooting for Riva because at least it is making love not war.

  6. February 3, 2013

    Lincoln may very well win Oscars for Director, Actor, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay, and then *not* Picture. Stupid. To some degree, isn’t a film the sum of its parts?

  7. Lisa
    February 3, 2013

    ZD30 and Argo were my favorite films of the year, but Argo is the better film. The critics awards came out right after ZD30 was released — when it was the new shiny toy. Argo has lasted through months of scrutiny and it still comes out on top. The “locks” you said, everyone said, were Affleck and Bigelow for best director. It was not “cool” when they were left out– it was a travesty. Obviously the industry agrees with me, not you. I wonder if it was the third “lock” Spielberg, who got left out you would think it was still “cool”.

  8. Karl
    February 3, 2013

    Well, for me Joaquin Phoenix wins over Daniel Day-Lewis and Philip Seymour Hoffman over Tommy Lee Jones. And Ang Lee over to Steven Spielberg, and Chris Terrio over Tony Kushner.

  9. February 3, 2013

    I think I solved the mystery. Of why the Director’s Branch snub of Ben Affleck occured ~ and consequently turned the entire race, and Oscar history, and Oscar rules, and Oscar stats upside down. Just click on my name above and it will take you to my blog, where I explain what happen. Scott Feinberg and Susan W. have chimed in to agree with me. See what you think.

  10. Astarisborn
    February 3, 2013

    Love your analysis Sasha. You are spot on and you always make me feel relevancy and satisfaction in this wild race. Just curious if you feel its a given that whoever wins best director will also win best picture? Thanks

  11. Robert A.
    February 3, 2013

    For some reason, when I first read the line “Naomi Wolf calls Kathryn Bigelow Leni Reifenstahl,” I read it as “Naomi Watts calls Kathryn Bigelow Leni Reifenstahl.” Talk about having to do a double-take.

  12. Mark
    February 3, 2013

    “Despite the way it’s all turning out it has been a great year for awards, where the rewards are woven delicately through the familiar strains of how the Oscars usually go. We must never forget we are here to celebrate films, not necessarily to only care about who wins the horse race. At least, that’s my hope. This is why I keep reminding myself because I know how easy it is to forget how little all of it really means.”

    And, indeed, this has been one disgusting horse race… People tend to forget that there is more to this than just Oscar. We can’t just let our personal biases trash a film that we’d hate to see win come Oscar Night. Why can’t we just be appreciative of all these amazing films? When was the last time we ever had an unpredictable and fun Oscar season?

    I can’t take it anymore. I just want all this to end because bottom line: When Argo wins and it all comes to an end, we will all look back on 2012 as one of the best years in film history.

    Yes, some people may have personalized the race but as Sasha puts it “The trick is not minding.” It doesn’t get any serious than that.

  13. Pierre de Plume
    February 3, 2013

    My thoughts about where this race is going will be all over the place until the WGA announces. I agree that Amour could place strongly with Haneke, screenplay and Riva. But I also feel that David O. Russell is very much still a factor. And, finally, a Spielberg victory could be the consolation prize for Spielberg, the “bone,” if you will. Good as he is, I don’t think the Academy will reward Ang Lee for what seems to be mostly perceived as a technical achievement.

    Right now, what interests me most is the WGA — and Riva’s position for best actress.

  14. A.J
    February 3, 2013

    I’m still not convinced Argo will win Best Picture. I’m pretty tired of Affleck/Argo winning everything and ballots haven’t even been mailed! Are we really going to have TWO films with 10+ nominations be the films that are just happy to be invited to the big show? I will not underestimate Silver Linings Playbook it’s word of mouth box office performance is astounding and even went up this Friday over last Friday. It’s an unseen force to be reckoned with. Affleck has won enough pity awards for not being nominated by the academy. If they continue the pity party then they will NEVER owe Affleck ANYTHING. He’ll never win Best Director. I wonder if he’ll even be nominated! The spit in the face of the director’s branch isn’t doing him any favors.

  15. Karl
    February 3, 2013

    Ang Lee deserves the Oscar Director award more than Spielberg, it’s objectivity

  16. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    Karl: three teenagers sat on my row when i saw Lincoln (2 guys, 1 girl). And at the end, one of the guys said: “Did you like it?”. The girl answered: “Sort of. More or less.” And the guy answered (this is god’s truth): “Maybe if it had a couple more bullets fired…”.

    Lincoln isn’t boring. If you can’t sit through Lincoln and be engaged, you can’t sit through Amour or The Master or any of those movies which are even slower, more methodical and meandering movies which are basically reflections on the human condition. I was surprised at how much Lincoln was a reflection. We see Lincoln rambling on about how slavery should be ended but only at the end does he go full on “You will procure me these votes!!”.

    You shouldn’t blame a movie for your ADD. Especially not one as great as Lincoln.

  17. February 3, 2013

    this reminds me of the line in it’s a wonderful life,”eveytime a bell rings an angel gets its wings”.”everytime ben affleck wins an award,it’s a nail in the motion picture academy coffin.”meaning as usual the academy screwed up this time big time.

  18. February 3, 2013

    ARGO’s all but won the Best Film Oscar, but the Best Director race is anyone’s guess. It’s because it’s in the same vein as the past few Best Film winners – idiosyncratic, not the conventional Oscar material of past decades. LINCOLN would have been ideal in the 1980s, the decade of AMADEUS, GANDHI, OUT OF AFRICA and THE LAST EMPEROR. ARGO fits the Academy bill now – having previously honoured films about a Mumbai slum, a bomb disposal team in Iraq, a British king attempting to overcome his stammer and a pastiche of silent Hollywood. ARGO’s a true story and it’s all about Hollywood. Why won’t the Academy not shower it with their love.

    I can’t remember a time when the Best Director category was more unpredictable. In theory, Spielberg should win for LINCOLN.

    Will ARGO win at next weekend’s BAFTAs? Highly possible, though I wouldn’t discount a surge of support for LES MISERABLES. It seems to have touched an emotional cord in the UK with viewers in the way it didn’t in the US (though it has been hugely successful) and the UK reviews were superlative compared to the mixed American ones. Or maybe not. Until a few years ago, BAFTA were delightfully parochial, bestowing their Best Film honours on homegrown hits like FOUR WEDDINGS AND FUNERAL, THE FULL MONTY, THE QUEEN and ATONEMENT. However, 3 years ago they opted for THE HURT LOCKER over local multi-nominee AN EDUCATION and then last year THE ARTIST over TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY.

  19. steve50
    February 3, 2013

    Stephen Holt – you (and Feinberg and the rest) really believe Affleck was left off because of a joke about directors in the Argo script? I really doubt that. If so, Terrio better not expect anything from the WGA because of a joke having to do with terrorists and the WGA.

    I still maintain it was simply a close vote and it only took a few voters to assume both Affleck and Bigeow were shoo-ins and then voted for another favorite, like Haneke, Zeitlan, whomever. 9 BP noms and 5 BD noms means musical chairs, and the music just stopped at the wrong time for both of them.

    (Can Rhesus monkeys be trained as directors, I wonder?)

  20. LPU
    February 3, 2013

    What is sad is that the real best film of the year – THE MASTER – was completely snubbed out of the best pic/director category. I would be THRILLED to see ZERO DARK THIRTY win though. Bigelow a two time winner? Wow that would be amazing. But I would be perfectly content with any of the best directing nominees winning, with the sole exception of David O. Russell. Anyone but him.

  21. LPU
    February 3, 2013

    Sorry for the double post- but I clicked “post” prematurely!

    I guess I’m confused why some people think LINCOLN is being abandoned? It led the field with the most nominations and DDL is a sure thing. God forbid, Hoffman does not win Best Supporting- but then, TLJ is right in the wings. So that’s 2 Oscars right there – and possibly Kushner. I don’t see it as abandonment. If anything it was pretty well loved up upon.

  22. Jerry Grant
    February 3, 2013

    It is true that the big question mark now is Best Director. I think it has to be between Haneke, Lee, and Spielberg. And logic ought to tell us it is headed towards Spielberg, simply because Lincoln is the most admired film of those three (most nominations, and most likely to procure other wins). But of course Ang Lee would be a worthy winner for an AMPAS-admiring director-heavy film. As would Haneke. (And Haneke is the most likely to win Original Screenplay and Foreign Film.)

    Would the Academy members that vote for DDL for Actor, TLJ for Supp. Actor, and Kushner for Adapted Screenplay (which I predict they will), also *neglect* to vote for Spielberg? It is certainly possible.

    My prediction is now waffling between Spielberg and Lee. Rooting for Spielberg all the way.

  23. Pierre de Plume
    February 3, 2013

    Why won’t the Academy not shower [Argo] with their love?

    Fair question — except there aren’t many places (i.e., categories) for voters to direct the shower head. That’s the conundrum that AMPAS voters face.

    Regarding Stephen Holt’s theory — I doubt it’s as simple as that, but Argo’s characterization of directors in general certainly didn’t help Affleck’s chances.

    And . . . about ZD30 . . . it was just too hot to handle. But it’ll survive and will be around when other films have dimmed in peoples’ memories.

  24. February 3, 2013

    It probably was a close vote, yes. The head-scratcher is how it was Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin who came out on top in that close vote, beating Affleck, Bigelow, Hooper and Tarantino. But yeah, it is super cool that it happened, and a real high point for the Academy.

    The critics awards came out right after ZD30 was released — when it was the new shiny toy.

    No, weeks beforehand.

    It was not “cool” when they were left out– it was a travesty. Obviously the industry agrees with me, not you.

    Not what Sasha wrote. Here’s what she wrote: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour, particularly, and to see those directors celebrated by the Academy is one of the coolest things I’ve seen the Academy do in 14 years.’ Gosh, Lisa, calm down.

    as usual the academy screwed up this time big time.

    They didn’t screw up. They picked the five directors they liked best. It’s their choice. So the rest of the industry disagrees with them. It doesn’t make them wrong and the industry right. Popularity is no barometer of quality. 369 directors did as they saw fit, and that was their prerogative.

  25. Zach
    February 3, 2013

    1. Thank God Sasha has offered up her two cents. I needed that so I can get on with the day.

    2. I agree that the WGA (with regard to Argo vs. Lincoln) and BAFTA (with regard to Amour) are still ones to watch, if not necessarily determinative, whichever way they go.

    3. Haneke winning Best Director makes some sense — he wasn’t eligible for DGA, so it’s not like he lost last night. But I have to agree with moviewatcher, actually. If too many people find Lincoln too boring to win the top prize over Argo, then I don’t see how Amour would win more than Foreign Film, Screenplay, and Actress at best. I also don’t think that Affleck and Argo sweeping means that Best Director doesn’t still necessarily go to Spielberg. The voters can rationalize giving it to him by saying that they would have voted for Affleck had he been nominated.

    Sasha, you’re counting on them filling out their ballots and saying, “Well, I’ve given Lincoln too much relative to Argo, so I better spread the wealth.” I think it’s more likely that they say, “I love Argo and I better vote for it in some of the lesser categories, like Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, hell, even Adapted Screenplay, to justify it winning Picture.” I think they’re all thinking about how few categories Argo can actually win, but I would hope they wouldn’t be actively voting AGAINST Spielberg/Lincoln simply because it would “look bad” for Lincoln to win more, even much more than Argo but for Argo to still win Picture.

  26. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Warning to commenters – if your only purpose is to come here, squat and take a dump on my lawn by calling Lincoln “boring” I will very likely delete that comment. FAIR WARNING.

  27. brandz
    February 3, 2013

    I see Riva winning Lead Actress.

  28. February 3, 2013

    Also, Stephen Holt’s theory is hogwash. The DGA gave him their award. Thousands of directors didn’t care about one throwaway quip. I struggle to imagine that 369 did.

  29. nixon
    February 3, 2013

    The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer. It is plain boring..and the blame should go to the screenplay writer. I would like to add it is a the most weakest movie made by Steven Spielberg.

    Amour on the other hand was simple to understand and kept the viewer guessing what will happen next and twist in the climax (i am not MN Shyamaladingdong fan) was just too good.

    Argo is total entertainment and so are Zero Dark Thirty and SLP

    Les Misrables which again is boring, Django UNchained..Tarintino keeps on making same movies..he cant think anything new..but his screenplay is really good..Beasts of the southern wild and Life of Pi would be too hard for academy members to understand since they are yet to reach a level to appreciate a good cinema.

  30. Zach
    February 3, 2013

    One more thing: the slight shift in the critics’ love from ZDT to Argo after the controversy broke out has confirmed what I’ve always thought: critics are human. We build them up like they’re immune to the public opinion and above being political, but they (especially the BFCA) are no less political every other kind of voter, just in their own way. I thought it when Brokeback Mountain and The Social Network won EVERY critic award. Good films, yes, and I understand why the critics would go for them. But for nothing else to get a fair bite — and then they lost Best Picture — well, it’s not too different from how I’ll feel if Argo loses Best Picture: I’ll only wonder how and why it swept the precursors to begin with.

  31. February 3, 2013

    Warning to commenters – come to this site and call Lincoln boring and your comment will be deleted.

    How is this fair or reasonable? Here’s what it says at the bottom of each page: ‘We don’t moderate comments but we will delete them if we feel they are pointlessly abusive.’ Calling Lincoln boring is surely not pointlessly abusive. We’re allowed to call any other film boring, right? So we can disagree with each other, just not you, Sasha?

  32. Patrick
    February 3, 2013

    The Australian Labor Party could win the election at large but still lose in Queensland. Just because you’re the consensus film for a large population doesn’t make you the consensus film for a subset of it.

    What’s better:
    a) interpolating the opinions of AMPAS members from the nominations of their individual branches (all obtained via preferential voting)?
    b) extrapolating the opinions of AMPAS members from the winners of other guilds (with minimal overlap with AMPAS, and only PGA uses preferential voting)?

    (Hint: interpolation is better…)

  33. Patrick
    February 3, 2013

    By the way, indeed Argo isn’t like Apollo 13, because Apollo 13 had a better chance of winning:

    1) It took DGA, PGA and SAG, all of which used plurality voting, same as the Oscars at that time. Now that the Oscars use preferential, only the PGA follows.

    2) It only had 1 less nominations than the leader, which was Braveheart with 10 nods. Argo has just over half the nods as Lincoln.

  34. Mark F.
    February 3, 2013

    I still think Spielberg wins BD as a consolation prize. And I don’t think the Lincoln “hate” is that much–they just really like “Argo” more.

  35. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    Methinks beyond the so-called snub effect, another reason why Argo is winning all these awards is that Affleck is the only one among the main competitors who hasn’t already won a slew of awards for directing/picture in his career. For example, when it comes to the DGA: Spielberg won 3, Lee won 2, Hooper and Bigelow won recently (respectively 2 and 3 yrs ago), so it only seems fair to reward Affleck who has never won before, if you consider his achievement on Argo is on par with the other nominees.

    Nevertheless, I’m not quite sure this reasoning will hold for the Oscars, since many voters might think Argo has already won enough prizes this season, and they don’t like to be seen as followers anyway.

  36. Dominik
    February 3, 2013

    Now that I´ve seen most of the films nominated, my candidate would clearly be “Zero Dark Thirty”. I liked “Lincoln” – especially Daniel Day-Lewis – but it´s not really challenging. It´s a good biopic, but also pretty conventional.
    “Zero Dark Thirty” is the one film of the group that I keep thinking about, the one that really is diverse and complex.
    To compare Bigelow with Riefenstahl just shows that Naomi Watts (never heard about) has obviously no fucking clue what she´s talking about.

  37. KT
    February 3, 2013

    Reposting this from Affleck wins DGA thread: I’ve said this before on Awards Daily: BEWARE David O. Russell for Best Director. ARGO is the Best Picture winner, done deal…as it was after the preferential-ballot PGA Awards. Best Director remains one of the closest races, WITHOUT A CLEAR FRONTRUNNER!!

    ***This is a weird year, when 2 DGA nominees went on to be nominated for the Directing Oscar. DO NOT necessarily think this directing race is just between those two DGA nominees Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. It’s NOT!! They were not the two directors who swept the critics and Globes (Bigelow and Affleck)…this prize is up for the grabbing, and I have a sneaking suspicion that person will be David O. Russell:

    • He has huge respect from actors, having directed 7 acting nominees in his last two films. He WILL earn the Acting Branch majority vote with Affleck out of the picture.
    • He has been directing films for over a decade, with some standout work. Arguably some of that work may exceed Silver Linings–but when does a director EVER win for his or her BEST WORK?? Silver Linings is–unarguably–a WELL-DIRECTED MOVIE. It is undeniable that Russell is a very good director, and this could be the chance to honor him.
    • He has the narrative that he wrote and directed this particular film for his son. This narrative has been everywhere: Jennifer Lawrence repeated it when she won the SAG. The Weinstein Co publicity knows this will get him votes in a close race.
    • He has NEVER WON an Oscar before, unlike Lee and Spielberg. Does Spielberg get a third over Russell?? I have trouble seeing this, since I know how stingy the Academy is. Haneke is already getting foreign film and original screenplay (very likely). Zeitlin is just happy to be there. That leaves Russell and his film—WHERE CAN VOTERS AWARD SILVER LININGS??? Lincoln is winning Best Actor. I’m still not convinced Jennifer Lawrence will win Best Actress or De Niro can win Supporting Actor after 20 years of subpar, disappointing work…BUT Best Director is SURELY a place where this film, and a notable director working today, can win votes and get its due.
    • AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, may I remind you who is behind Silver Linings. Yup, Mr. Harvey. He is not going home empty-handed this year. AND imagine the horror in the auditorium if Russell takes Director, and EVERYONE is fearing that Silver Linings/Harvey train can upset Best Picture AGAIN (which it won’t).

    I really think Russell can win this. And it doesn’t mean anything that he didn’t get the DGA nomination. He is in the race—just be prepared beforehand if his win almost assuredly shocks and infuriates you on Oscar night. Does anyone agree or have their own thoughts about Russell’s chances???

  38. Dominik
    February 3, 2013

    Damn, Naomi WOLF… sorry, Mrs. Watts! ;-)

  39. James
    February 3, 2013

    Leon Panetta dismissed the controversy (and even called ZD30 a good movie, btw). Yes, that Leon Panetta, not critics, nor M. Moore or whoever. Shame on the controversies, but being thought-provoking comes at a price.

  40. Diego
    February 3, 2013

    The travesty is that ZD30 is a much better film than Argo.

    So why is there not a cry for Bigelow not getting an Oscar nom for direction?

    I don’t mind for Argo winning BP but I hope that it is not because of pity votes for Ben.

  41. Josef
    February 3, 2013

    I like that you are not pushing a movie you like to everyone else who didn’t like it. That’s the real power of great movies it should open up discussions and debate. I do think that Lincoln is a good movie, I just simply liked Silver Linings Playbook better. The year Crash won it was my favorite that year. When The Social Network did not win, I didn’t mind even though I thought it was the best movie that year because a lot of people liked the other movie. That’s just the way things are.

  42. nixon
    February 3, 2013

    Warning to commenters – come to this site and call Lincoln boring and your comment will be deleted. That’s the one little tiny bit of satisfaction I will get this year.

    Sarcastic or serious? If you are really serious, then Shame on you

  43. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    “The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer. It is plain boring..and the blame should go to the screenplay writer. I would like to add it is a the most weakest movie made by Steven Spielberg.”

  44. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    “The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer. It is plain boring..and the blame should go to the screenplay writer. I would like to add it is a the most weakest movie made by Steven Spielberg.”

    Oh, the irony, the irony… and the blame should go to the screenwriter…

  45. Akumax
    February 3, 2013

    James, just a little correction ; )
    Leon Panetta I believe said it’s a great movie, not just good, and very accurate.

  46. filmboymichael
    February 3, 2013

    I think what people are losing sight of is that this is a STELLAR year for film. Every one of the 9 nominated films are deserving (I’ll even include Les Mis, because even if I hated it, I know many who are ardent fans). Why are we nitpicking?

    To me, my favourite film is Life of Pi – just a spectacular piece of filmmaking. Is it going to win best pic? Doubtful. Will it win the most oscars. Just maybe. And I’m ok with that.

    Argo winning best pic? Absolutely. Why not. People here claiming that it would rank as one of the best pic wins ever are sorely overstating themselves and frankly embarrassing themselves in the process, in my opinion.

    I’m sure, also a lot of these folks that are calling the Argo wins an atrocity are the same folks who LOVED it when it first hit the scene. Such fickle people you are!

  47. mecid
    February 3, 2013

    I request people to write their fav film too when they write Lincoln is boring so I can also make a case where his/her fav film is boring.

  48. terri woods
    February 3, 2013

    This is the same American public that embraced Avatar and ignored The Hurt Locker but the drum was beat on here at the time that the Academy should never be about rewarding popularity. You cant have it both ways. Argo is a fine movie and many voters simply prefer it to Lincoln which is another fine movie.

  49. britt
    February 3, 2013

    Best picture is ….Django Unchained, no just kidding…..only in my fantasy land. How tough it had to be to pick only 9 best pictures this year, i can only imagine how hard it was to only pick 5 directors.

  50. Bill F
    February 3, 2013

    I predicted Affleck had the DGA in the bag (see DGA NGNG post), and I thought the Oscar would go to Spielberg. Now, I don’t think that. I think Ang Lee is going to probably win.

    The question now is, if Argo wins BP, what else does it win.

    I can only seeing it winning editing and screenplay besides BP.

    It all depends what the WGA does. If they give the screenplay to Lincoln (and considering it took Kushner six years to write and he had the herculean task of condensing a TON of history to under three hours – a pretty darn impressive feat), I think Lincoln will also win the Oscar.

    That leaves Argo only winning BP and editing. And ZD30 could sneak in for editing (Remember the Girl With the Dragon Tatoo winning over The Artist?)

    Which could mean, that Argo only wins BP. It seems far-fetched, but it really could happen.

  51. Silencio
    February 3, 2013

    You know Sasha, it would be great to come to this site next year and be able to disagree with your favorite film and not be seen as a hater. People like me don’t have time to be haters; we just have different favorites. (Hell, I still remember you being irate with me in ’09 when I said Avatar was poorly written, even though you ended up agreeing later. It’s the reactionary thing I’ve been seeing now and then here. I still visit this site because overall I like it, but that issue something to consider. It’s the same issue with the Lincoln discussions this year.)

    I’m not moaning and groaning about Django not getting more awards, because I know in a few years more people will see and appreciate the layers of this film beyond the audacious premise. I’m not worried about it. (That’s not an invitation for people to start trashing Django, btw. Thanks.)

    And in the long run, when No Country won in ’07 I decided to give the Academy a LOT more leeway with their questionable choices for a while. They earned it with such an excellent choice. My awards-watching life is much more peaceful that way. On that point, at least, I imagine we could agree.

  52. Mike
    February 3, 2013

    Loving a movie is something personal. If you’re a sucker for sci-fi the chances are you enjoyed Looper (which was a very very good movie, by the way) but is the fact you loved the movie the reason it should dispassionately win? Otherwise you’re just biased!

  53. Terometer
    February 3, 2013

    “But the Oscars have stopped being about the American public a long time ago.”

    It’s now about the world public. And that’s why it’s better. And that’s why Lincoln failed to be that impressive outside the states.

  54. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    @ Akumax

    Right? I thought the trick was NOT minding?

    It’s not like Lincoln wasn’t well made. It was, and it certainly wasn’t boring. I just feel like other films offered me more this year. Granted, Cloud Atlas was my favorite, but I’m not cramming it’s awe and splendor down people’s throats because I KNOW what people will take issue with, and that it ok. There are no absolutes in film. It is ART, and therefore it is open to discussion

  55. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    The thing that worries me the most in all this “Argo” chest thumping is that there is a real danger that Kushner will lose the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay. Which, of course, will be an absolute travesty.

    Every year we say, “Oh the Oscars have become so predictable, once the Guilds are in it’s game-over.”

    Let this be the year that the Academy collectively grows a pair and rewards the best film of the year with Picture, Director, Actor, Writing wins for the one film that is GENUINELY the best: “Lincoln”

  56. Name *haggar
    February 3, 2013

    I’ll be first to say I think some underhanded tactics have been used to facilitate Argo’s sweep of the guilds. the sag win is especially suspicious because no film ever wins without showing up in one acting category. even Slumdog Millionaire had Dev Patel show up in supporting actor before taking the ensemble. Probable motive is to sway the academy vote, have it win BP and then use that to market home video. I fail to see how everyone except guild members fail to see that OBJECTIVELY it is not the years best film. but this is just me, how I see things!

  57. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    And I still don’t understand how people are so upset over a director not getting nominated for a film that isn’t very well directed.

    Has anyone else noticed that Paul Thomas Anderson or Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer are also NOT on that list.

    But still could you bump off Haneke or Zeitlin? I couldn’t.

  58. Zooey
    February 3, 2013

    And what if somebody says it’s not boring but it isn’t really deserving of best picture and best directing? It’s your site but since it’s a public place and open to comments, people are allowed to make a comment unless they insult somebody.[deleted]

  59. Sergio
    February 3, 2013

    But when did the directors branch ever lead the race??? An Academy which never rewarded Hitchcock or Kubrick – at least not in a competitive category – but rewarded Gibson, Redford, Costner as directors…

  60. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    @ Name*haggar

    Argo DID show up in another category: Alan Arkin for Best Supporting

  61. RA
    February 3, 2013

    It seems you have made quite a frequent reader out of me Sasha. I love reading what you have to say. You join my favorite film people along with Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper, and Anne Thompson at Indiewire.

  62. Disney17
    February 3, 2013

    Argo still isn’t winning BP! The academy is not gong to give BP to a film, when they didn’t give it’s director a nod. I don’t see them setting the precedent that your film can win BP without your director not showing up here. If the academy really did love ‘Argo’ they would have nominated Affleck.

  63. Jorge
    February 3, 2013

    At this point I’d love nothing more than for Argo to win only BP so that their ridiculous choice is exposed.

    Of course they know that and will probably give it other stuff like supp actor and -ugh- screenplay

  64. Mike
    February 3, 2013

    The point is not whether or not Lincoln was boring (or considered to be so). The point is you can’t dismiss a movie just because of this, especially in terms of ‘awards-worthiness’. Movies are not like toys!

  65. Britt
    February 3, 2013

    Lincoln ebbs and flows, it is a gorgeous piece of film making, with an amazing character driven script. But, it will not be for everyone. I could of watched Daniel day Lewis all day, but it was not the script that grabbed me. Argo was a political satire, that had a ton of wit and suspense (and yes Ben Affleck admitted that he added elements of fiction) I enjoyed them both… and some of my favorite movies of the year didnt even make best picture.

  66. Zooey
    February 3, 2013

    @ Disney17,

    theoretically the Academy could ADORE Argo.
    It’s the directors who snubbed it.
    The nominations for directing aren’t voted by the Academy as a whole. Directors only vote and the directors’ branch has 369 voters. The Academy has 5,784 voters.

  67. Tufas
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha compares Argo to Crash and says she will delete any comment that deems Lincoln to be “boring”, something every guild on the face of the earth seems to also think it is, hence all the awards its been getting.

    Grow up.

    T.

    I didn’t compare the film to Crash — I said the people behind the film are the same people who pushed Crash towards a surprise win. Grow up? I hope I never do.

  68. Juan
    February 3, 2013

    The race is over but it’s still a month away?! The Argo train can derail, anything can happen it’s a long time, the voting hasn’t even started! We’ll see, I predict a lot of surprises. Besides the oscar noms are awesome this year, no matter who wins

  69. helios
    February 3, 2013

    I know a lot of people here and in the gutter aka the AD forums who simply enjoy seeing Sasha being wrong or ‘her’ film lose. That is probably the biggest reason. Because it’s cool to rebel against the authority and Sasha is the authority here. Another one is that they are afraid of Lincoln. Have been for a long time. Remember how Les Mis was going to break records and sweep every award? Lincoln was its biggest threat back then. Now that Les Mis is completely out of the race, its fans are taking their anger and frustration out on Lincoln. Add to that the rabid anti-Spielberg (and to a lesser extent anti-Day-Lewis) brigade and you complete the recipe.

  70. akumax
    February 3, 2013

    “And I still don’t understand how people are so upset over a director not getting nominated for a film that isn’t very well directed.”

    the first 10 minutes of Argo are masterful and so modern, they alone should have earned an Oscar nom for director, cinematography and editing.

    “Has anyone else noticed that Paul Thomas Anderson or Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer are also NOT on that list.”

    The Master has a huge problem of balance between its first half and the epilogue. Cloud Atlas is like watching TV in a movie theatre where a psycho has stolen the remote control and he is doing crazy zapping when all the worst possible movies are simultaneously on the air.

  71. Zach
    February 3, 2013

    It’s sad when it’s easier to abolish slavery than win an Oscar for a movie about it.

    It’s also sad when it’s easier to take down Osama bin Laden than win an Oscar for a movie about it.

    Finally, it’s disconcerting that the Iran hostage crisis is considered more compelling than slavery or the war in Iraq.

  72. Nick Ray
    February 3, 2013

    >>>>>>>> It was not “cool” when they were left out– it was a travesty. Obviously the industry agrees with me, not you.

    Obviously not Lisa. Your logic is stupid. You sound like a crazy person. A few directors agree with you. Not even the majority. Could be as few as 2500. Some people agreed with you last night. People like directors of sitcoms agree with you. Directors of reality shows.

    LISA SAYS: “HEY, the director of Sarah Palin’s Alaska agrees with ME!”

    Big shit Lisa. Settle down lady. You do not have the whole Hollywood industry on your side. You are delusional to say so.

    The directors who are Academy members DO NOT agree with you.

    I had a French teacher like Lisa in 10th grade. She had the hots for Dan Quayle. She would preach to 10th grade French class how Dan Quayle would be President some day.

    Us good Democrats kids in class would mock Dan Quayle. Just to watch Miss Fogerty lose her wad. She would get redface livid.

    Then it was always this from Miss Fogerty: “OBVIOUSLY THE COUNTRY AGREES WITH ME, NOT YOU.”

    You see, Lisa? See, Miss Fogerty was an idiot. She thought because she picked a winner, that must mean all the people who didn’t pick the winner were not only wrong — anybody who chose somebody other than Dan Quayle no longer even existed for Miss Fogerty.

    She thought the whole country loved Dan Fucking Quayle because “THE COUNTRY” ELECTED HIM. Because Dan Quayle won something once, Miss Fogerty though anybody who didn’t like Quayle didn’t count for anything anymore.

    Crazy Lady Miss Fogerty screaming at 10th graders. Screaming at us that the whole country was on her side. To hear her tell it, it was America against me and 5 other democrats in class.

    We had to report Miss Fogerty to school administrators to get that loonybird to shut up.

    Dan Quayle did not become president.

    Miss Fogerty wasn’t stable. She had a meltdown halfway through the school year. She quit teaching and went to work at the Ragu spaghetti factory.

    Lisa reminds me of Miss Fogerty. “THE INDUSTRY AGREES WITH ME!”

    No they don’t, crazy lady.

    God how we hated Miss Fogerty. I hated her so much I won’t even buy Ragu spaghetti sauce.

  73. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    “Cloud Atlas is like watching TV in a movie theatre where a psycho has stolen the remote control and he is doing crazy zapping when all the worst possible movies are simultaneously on the air.”

    I loved Cloud Atlas, but still — that was pretty funny. Thanks!

  74. AnthonyP
    February 3, 2013

    How is Argo skating down the middle? It pissed off Iran enough that they’re supposedly making their own film about it.

    You even describe Lincoln as a “beautifully written ode”. Wow, sounds edgy.

    I don’t see a difference between The King’s Speech and Lincoln’s Speech. Both are safe as can be.

  75. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    @Helios
    I’m pro Les Mis yet I would still put Lincoln at #2 on my ballot to reward Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy for directing/producing some of my favorite films of all-time. So pls do not ponder your awkward reasoning with your hatred toward Les Mis / Hooper / Hathaway / fans or whatever you don’t like about the film and its following. The most likely reasons why some people pile on Lincoln are 1. They really didn’t like it and 2. They’re rooting for another contender, mainly Argo and SLP.

  76. PJ
    February 3, 2013

    Riva has as much chance to win Best Actress as Zero Dark Thirty does Best Picture.

  77. Bob Burns
    February 3, 2013

    Jane Mayer, New Yorker, Dec 14, “Zero Conscience in Zerao Dark 30″

    “But whether torture “worked” was far from the most important question about its use. I’ve seen the film and, as much as I admired Bigelow’s Oscar-winning picture “The Hurt Locker,” I think that this time, by ignoring the full weight of the dark history of torture, her work falls disturbingly short. To begin with, despite Boal’s contentions, “Zero Dark Thirty” does not capture the complexity of the debate about America’s brutal detention program. It doesn’t include a single scene in which torture is questioned, even though the Bush years were racked by internal strife over just that issue—again, not just among human-rights and civil-liberties lawyers, but inside the F.B.I., the military, the Justice Department, and the C.I.A. itself, which eventually abandoned waterboarding because it feared, correctly, that the act constituted a war crime. None of this ethical drama seems to interest Bigelow.

    Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/torture-in-kathryn-bigelows-zero-dark-thirty.html#ixzz2JrStibj2

  78. Jerry Grant
    February 3, 2013

    Lincoln is my favorite movie of the year. But there is value in having commenters express their opinions that Lincoln is “boring”. It offers me a way to understand why this movie is not universally applauded. It offers me insight into the popular zeitgeist, attention span, and values as to what makes a movie better or worse than others. I don’t agree with it, and certainly think I have a more nuanced sense of the movie and its merits than they do, but I also think I need to understand where the differences lie. I don’t think those people are stupid (some are most closest friends); I just see they have different values as to what makes a strong movie in their eyes.

    Isn’t there something very interesting about sharp disagreements about widely-accoladed movies? I loved Silver Linings Playbook (it’s my #3 for the year), but the moderators here hold it in contempt–and I find that discouraging but also interesting. But I also think I have a more nuanced sense of the movie and its merits than they do.

    Why delete comments that honestly describe feelings about the movie? If it’s your site, it’s your site. But I value the comments page here, and if that kind of editing goes on, then what kind of forum does this turn into?

  79. unlikely hood
    February 3, 2013

    There was a great line about Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” – I think in the NYTimes, but I don’t quite recall the source, this being 20 years ago – “Penny Marshall directs with both eyes on the audience.” That was really true, then. And perhaps one reason the film didn’t get a BP nod (in a year when Scent of a Woman, certainly, didn’t deserve one).

    There’s something eyes-on-the-audience, ultra-safe, bumper-pool, uber-digestible, about the style of The King’s Speech, The Artist, and Argo. The films rarely cut away from characters who are talking. The basic screenplay structure – Act 1, show our lead doing his thing, disrupt his world, have him do little about it, Act 2, he starts to do something, rising action then falling action, at act’s end he got what he wanted but not what he needed, Act 3, race to get what he needs – is followed as closely as anyone ever followed L. Ron Hubbard. The acting is excellent and immersive. The stories of all three aren’t quite true, but they feel like the most handsome possible way to polish real events.

    The King’s Speech, The Artist, and Argo each do exactly one idiosyncratic “artistic” thing. In The King’s Speech it’s those off-center compositions, the most 1930s wallpaper anyone has seen since Barton Fink. The Artist is B&W and silent (sort of). Argo has that absolutely amazing opening 5 minutes about the Iran-US relationship. (If they were giving Oscars for the first 5 minutes of a film, I’d say Argo should win hands-down.) Self-conscious artistic moves are a way of assuring an audience that they’re in the hands of an artist, that they can feel free to enjoy the film as art. (It’s one reason Boogie Nights begins with that 4-minute shot into the club; that tells you that this film may be about porn, but won’t be sleazy in and of itself.) But having only *one* artistic move is like putting a sign above your house that says “museum,” charging people an entrance fee, and then bringing them in to your unredecorated chateau. All you’ve done is say “this is art.” You haven’t challenged people.

    Who challenges? Paul Thomas Anderson. Kathryn Bigelow. Quentin Tarantino. The Coens. David Fincher. Wes Anderson. Chris Nolan. Michael Haneke, especially at the end of Amour. And this year – Steven Spielberg.

    The most horrible, worst irony of this Oscar season – and Sasha has nibbled at the edges of this, but I haven’t really seen her realize this, so I hope she reads me – is that Spielberg *has* spent way too much time directing bumper-pool films with both eyes on the audience, but during one of the few years he chose to let a dense script and layered performances speak for themselves – that’s the year he loses to a more Spielbergian film, namely Argo.

    30 years ago, Spielberg did say “If someone can tell me the plot in 25 words or less, it’s probably gonna make a pretty good movie.” Hoist on his own petard. Spielberg’s comeuppance this year might make a pretty good movie, but I bet you couldn’t explain why in 25 words.

  80. Diego
    February 3, 2013

    For all of us here who have been enjoying Sasha’s site for many years now -

    Do you not know yet that if our comments do not necessarily jive with Sasha’s (or Ryan’s) that it will be deleted? And if you are lucky enough, you will be directly informed that your comment was nasty, that it merited deletion and that you are propositioned to get the heck out and on to another site.

    Over the years, there have been readers whose comments were deleted over not liking Viola, Social Network, The Dark Knight and on and on and on. You get the drift….

  81. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I don’t see a difference between The King’s Speech and Lincoln’s Speech. Both are safe as can be.

    Wrong. I’m not really here to teach remedial reporting but let’s just say: King learning not to stutter — emotionally cathartic ending. Lincoln, a film about politicians talking, a movie about ideas – the exact opposite of the King’s Speech, the exact opposite of “safe.” It is risky but as Kathleen Kennedy said so brilliantly, “the audience always steps up.” They couldn’t get Lincoln made for years and years. Who knew that the people who would shun Lincoln would not be audiences but the insular awards community. Weird, that.

  82. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I know a lot of people here and in the gutter aka the AD forums who simply enjoy seeing Sasha being wrong or ‘her’ film lose. That is probably the biggest reason. Because it’s cool to rebel against the authority and Sasha is the authority here.

    It’s really nice of you to say that. In truth, because of their continual hatred I wish the AD forums would dislodge themselves from this site. Also, they do wait for what they think will be “my meltdown.” Well, that happened when The Social Network lost and it happened when Viola Davis lost. But it wasn’t really because I couldn’t make the impossible happen so much as they thought the voters were WRONG. I still think they were wrong. I care more about the outcome than I do about my own power or being “right.” I know that’s hard to fathom for some but I really do fell that way. I know bloggers are more powerful in our business if they are “right” but if right means aligning behind the safe, easy choice – no thanks. I’d rather be wrong.

  83. Bryce Forestieri
    February 3, 2013

    Because otherwise I have no reason to come back or pay attention until Sasha heads for Cannes, still P=predicting and wanting LINCOLN to win Best Picture and Best Director. Tommy Lee Jones is winning Best Supporting actor res assured. Also Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress and Haneke for Best Original Screenplay.

  84. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    But when did the directors branch ever lead the race??? An Academy which never rewarded Hitchcock or Kubrick – at least not in a competitive category – but rewarded Gibson, Redford, Costner as directors…

    All of them had director nominations. The directors might not have the best taste but they lead the race. Or they have for the most part. There are occasionally splits, like Chicago winning.

  85. Too Many AJs
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, do you really think Lincoln is a challenging film? I found it very engaging, but the film whitewashed Abraham Lincoln and avoided bringing up controversial aspects of his persona. I don’t feel like Argo or Lincoln were nearly as deep or challenging as Beasts of the Southern Wild or Zero Dark Thirty (the latter of which is the best of the BP nominees, in my opinion).

  86. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    It’s your site but since it’s a public place and open to comments, people are allowed to make a comment unless they insult somebody.

    It is NOT a public site. It is a site paid for by me every month. It is MY site. I control the editorial content and that includes comments. You are invited to leave and comment elsewhere.

  87. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    Who knew that the people who would shun Lincoln would not be audiences but the insular awards community. Weird, that.

    I was just thinking that! It’s the highest grossing film on the Best Picture list. It’s received wonderful reviews and applause at the screening I saw. Its depths and subtly are more rewarding on repeat viewings.

    And the performances are uniformly wonderful. What a delight to see James Spader having so much fun! And a joy to see the original Prior Walter – Stephen Spinella on the screen.

  88. arjecc
    February 3, 2013

    I disagree with those saying Argo has no complexities and that it is just a crowd-pleaser, although it very well can be if you just seek entertainment, however, Affleck makes it work on many levels and despite its farfetched premise and the Hollywood pomposity of it all, it is, brilliantly, subtle in the way it transmits its themes.

    In direct and, ironic, contrast to Hollywood, Affleck’s character’s mission was not to reap glory, it was to serve his country and retain it at peace. His was a maverick idea, very implausible, yet it worked and that reminds us of that true American spirit and how often our greatness derives from our risk-taking. All the hostages, battled it out on whether to follow Affleck’s lead, similar to the relationship between Congress and the President, but in the end managed to trust the good intentions of their leader and had to adapt and learn a new trade, for their own salvation. Arkin’s character, also underrated on this site, had a great arc of redemption. Like Affleck in real life, it is implied that he had cared only for money or the business aspect of Hollwood in the past at the expense of his personal life and the neglect of his own children. the “Argo” project reminded him of why, perhaps, he had started out to begin with and was his chance to do something worthwhile for once. Arkin was brilliant in portraying this with humor, at times self-depreciative. It was great to see Affleck return home at the end and not repeat Arkin’s life, he didn’t get the awards and fame but he settled and got a conscience. It was great that from Canada to the Irani maid, it was collaboration on many fronts, CIA/Hollywood/the white house inc., to achieve the goal and, most importantly, without firing a shot. That ode to Star Wars in the end was an added plus, though much less subtle. It is the film that most inspires the way we should conduct ourselves in these times.

    That said, I’m not putting Lincoln down, it is very well-made, though not the masterpiece everyone hails it to be here, in MY OPINION. The Master, Skyfall, Moonrise Kingdom and Zero Dark Thirty were my favorite films and Best Picture, to me, from the nominees, should be a fight between Zero Dark Thirty and Beasts, with ZD30 for the win. But I felt a need to defend Argo because it is not the single-minded option or the sole crowd-pleaser or the Oscar-bait pick; it is many things and it does have gravitas and that’s why it is the consensus pick, not because of Affleck’s “snub”. Certainly a worthy winner and not nearly as embarrassing for the Academy as the manipulative The King’s Speech.

    Always a fan, Sasha!

  89. February 3, 2013

    there have been readers whose comments were deleted over not liking Viola, Social Network, The Dark Knight and on and on and on. You get the drift….

    Comments get deleted for being vulgar, repeatedly disruptive, personally hateful or abusive.

    Diego, You have no idea what we delete. No idea. No idea. Stop pretending that you do.

  90. Eric P.
    February 3, 2013

    Dream Oscar night:

    Best Pic.- “Amour”
    Best Actor- Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln”
    Best Actress- Emanuelle Riva “Amour”
    Best Supporting Actor- Phillip Seymour Hoffman “The Master”
    Best Supporting Actress- Sally Field “Lincoln”
    Best Director- Michael Haneke “Amour”
    Best Adapted Screenplay- Tony Kushner “Lincoln”
    Best Original Screenplay- Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola “Moonrise Kingdom”

  91. February 3, 2013

    To put it another way:

    Maybe it’s not that “Lincoln” is perceived as boring. Maybe it’s that it is not *surprising.* I like the film, but it really seems to satisfy every expectation of what you assume it to be (I’m not saying this is a bad thing). The direction, the acting, the design, the lighting — there is very little in this film to knock you back unexpectedly. It’s there to ponder, to observe. That doesn’t make it any lesser or greater, just the way Spielberg et al chose to render it.

    If we look at the Academy’s recent history, I think it’s safe to say they’re voting for more visceral films — be it suspense (Hurt Locker), emotional uplift (King’s Speech), or light-as-a-feather comedy (Artist). “Argo” offers the kind of filmmaking they’ve aspired to reward recently. Ditto “Silver Linings Playbook.”

    “Life of Pi” feels more like Hugo and Avatar, because the other thread here is that the Academy has wanted to embrace 3D filmmaking and acknowledge the massive technological leaps of recent years.

    I agree with others that if this were a different period in the Academy’s history, “Lincoln” would be way out in front. It feels like an Oscar movie of yore. But we’re in a time where the Academy seems to be gravitating towards a different kind of movie.

  92. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    You know Sasha, it would be great to come to this site next year and be able to disagree with your favorite film and not be seen as a hater.

    You can disagree without being an asshole.

  93. Bill F
    February 3, 2013

    I’m not in the camp that thinks Lincoln is boring. I do, however, can UNDERSTAND why some people think it’s boring. I, myself love the process of political sausage-making in Washington. The horse-trading that goes on to get legislation passed has always fascinated me. So, I was enthralled by Lincoln in this regard. But the horse-trading can be a mundane and tedious process and if you’re not interested in that, then yes, you might find it boring.

    That being said, Lincoln is not my favorie film of the year. It’s top ten, but not first. I give that to ZD30. I think it’s more of a snub for Bigelow not getting a directing nod than it is for Affleck.

    Argo is, however, an extremely well made film. I wouldn’t have a problem with it wining.

  94. JK
    February 3, 2013

    To: Name *haggar

    C’mon “the sag win is especially suspicious because no film ever wins without showing up in one acting category”

    Don’t you know that Alan Arkin was nominated as best supporting actor in the SAG’s and also at the oscar?

    It baffles me how someone can make some creepy arguments without knowing what they are talking about

  95. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha-

    It’s not so much that everyone wants to hate on your film…it’s more like we can’t stand someone being a hypocritical snark rat who asks of her audience more than she is willing to ask of herself. I understand Oscar season is an “emotional roller coaster” of a time and tensions are high, especially now towards the end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have actual debates as opposed to yelling as loud as we can for attention like a kid who’s dropped their ice cream.

  96. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    How is this fair or reasonable? Here’s what it says at the bottom of each page: ‘We don’t moderate comments but we will delete them if we feel they are pointlessly abusive.’ Calling Lincoln boring is surely not pointlessly abusive. We’re allowed to call any other film boring, right? So we can disagree with each other, just not you, Sasha?

    Because people are using it as a way of lobbing an insult now. If you say it in a well reasoned paragraph I would never delete it. But coming on here, dropping your pants, squatting and simply writing “Lincoln was boring I’m glad it didn’t win” is something I will delete. Yes. Sorry if you guys don’t like that but I really have come to the end of my rope. But if you say “you know, I thought Lincoln was boring because all they did was talk.” I won’t delete that kind of comment.

  97. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer. It is plain boring..and the blame should go to the screenplay writer. I would like to add it is a the most weakest movie made by Steven Spielberg.

    See, this shitty comment? I won’t delete it. It is intended to be someone squatting and taking a shit on my lawn. However, I bristle at this false notion it isn’t winning a popularity contest because it’s boring. It’s boring to lazy minded people. Period.

  98. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    [deleted]
    So much for democracy

    Democracy? Did you think you were on the steps of the White House or something? This site isn’t a democracy. It’s a dictatorship. It always has been and it always will be. You are invited to leave and comment elsewhere.

  99. February 3, 2013

    I’m glad for Ben.

    The only thing is I can’t believe it took me this long to realize why my favorite three films of the year, CLOUD ATLAS, THE HOBBIT, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES were treated like bastard children. I do believe this is what they call a “long con”.

  100. mel
    February 3, 2013

    @helios: ” Now that Les Mis is completely out of the race, its fans are taking their anger and frustration out on Lincoln.”— I speak only for myself, but as a Les Miz fangirl, I’m taking out my frustration on SLP. I honestly do not get what was so special about that film. Russell’s slot should have been taken by Bigelow or Affleck.

  101. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer. It is plain boring..and the blame should go to the screenplay writer. I would like to add it is a the most weakest movie made by Steven Spielberg.
    See, this shitty comment? I won’t delete it. It is intended to be someone squatting and taking a shit on my lawn. However, I bristle at this false notion it isn’t winning a popularity contest because it’s boring. It’s boring to lazy minded people. Period.

    Lazy minded people refuse to talk to others about differing opinions. The Oscars might be the prom, but let’s not start acting like a bunch of bimbo cheerleaders now

  102. Jade Fox
    February 3, 2013

    Now I really wish I had the bucks to see “Lincoln” and “Argo.” If I can’t wrestle up the money soon, I’m just gonna have to do this shit illegally people which I don’t like doing because I do like rewarding good movies with my money.

    I just want to join the debate with the cool kids. Pathetic I know.

    Anyway, as far as predictions go the only safe bets are this: DDL will win Best Actor, Anne Hathaway wins Best Supporting Actress, and Zero Dark Thirty will very well walk away empty handed, including in the Best Actress category.

  103. Houstonrufus
    February 3, 2013

    A lot of ugly in the comments here. I’m not getting involved in all that. I’m a Lincoln fan, but I’m resigned to seeing Argo triumph come Oscar night. And that’s fine. It’s NOT Crash, thank god. It is a very good movie. The mob has chosen its golden boy, and that’s fine.

    I have never been to Jeff Wells’ site and I don’t plan on going there. He sounds like a sociopath. Or at the very least a dreadful person and total drag.

  104. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Right? I thought the trick was NOT minding?

    Sorry but if think that’s supposed to be literal it’s no wonder…

  105. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    The problem with lincoln is that it does not engage the viewer.

    Wrong. It engages the viewer who has a thinking brain. $170 million at the box office and number 5 on the top ten lists of critics top ten counters your point. There is nothing wrong with Lincoln. The wrong is with awards season.

  106. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    [deleted]

  107. AnthonyP
    February 3, 2013

    Wait, so now we ARE supposed to stress over the Oscars. False advertising!

  108. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    “But coming on here, dropping your pants…”
    Hmm… that may explain why some of my comments get mysteriously deleted. I always visit AD in my underwear, and that’s only when I feel like wearing smth.

  109. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I’m sorry that you readers feel entitled or that this is YOUR site. I’m sorry about that. But it’s been my site for 14 years and that means I control the content. I am responsible for everything that gets printed and not on my watch will I have people come here and stomp on a film that deserves a hell of a lot better just because it didn’t win the Prom King contest.

  110. arjecc
    February 3, 2013

    By the way, no one discusses acting as much and judging by the projected winners, THOSE will be the Academy’s shame, save for Day-Lewis. Chastain and Seymour Hoffman are the unquestionable bests and should’ve sailed through the season and S. Actress should be a fight between Field and Adams. I respect Hathaway and thought her Catwoman was the best but in that category I would put her in front of only Weaver, whom I have no idea how she got in. Les Miserables was downright horrible, TO ME and Hathaway, other than her physical transformation, added no dimension to what is solely a melodramatic character………Sorry, had to get that out of my chest, I feel strongly about the Academy blocking Field’s 3rd Oscar or Adams 1st lol……That will be my only possible disappointment of the night

  111. Anthony
    February 3, 2013

    Shots and Buddha all around!

  112. kasper
    February 3, 2013

    I never understood the relationship between AD Forums (I don’t use) and this site. It’s called AwardsDaily Forums but seems so separate already. Why do they have the name Awards Daily if it seems Sasha’s not involved over there? Just curious.

  113. February 3, 2013

    Comment
    “Well, for me Joaquin Phoenix

    wins over Daniel Day-Lewis and

    Philip Seymour Hoffman over

    Tommy Lee Jones. And Ang Lee

    over to Steven Spielberg, and

    Chris Terrio over Tony Kusher.”

    Karl, are you a celestial singer? ‘Cause your words sounds like a sweet melody to me. :)

    Well, I won’t say anything about that warning about say in this site Lincoln is that word whit “B”, because this time I really fell shame.

    But I’ll say one thing: ARGO IS THE BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR, EXCEPT FOT THE MASTER.
    It will win Best Picture and more awards, Affleck did the best work among his fellas.
    ARGO haters ou Lincoln lovers ( it seems they’re te same, aren’t they?) MUST ACCEPT IT WILL WIN! LIKE OR NOT.
    I’m living in a world where stupid an thash movies like TGSOE, ATWIED, Rocky, Braveheart, Crash and The King’s Speech won. And I’m here, beautiful and strong.
    All these people must be very greatful for ARGO be a good and nice film.
    Accept this, go ahead and smile as a child. Life is beautiful.

  114. February 3, 2013

    So much for democracy

    There’s nothing in the fucking Constitution that gives anyone the right to bust into NBC studios and broadcast their shitty little opinion on TV.

    This site is owned and operated by Sasha Stone. It’s private property. You don’t have “rights” to say anything you want here. You can’t go into Macy’s Department Store and start preaching. You can’t go to Pizza Hut and write your insults on the tables.

    Know how you can tell we’re not breaking any federal laws by deleting a comment or two? You can tell by the fact that we don’t get arrested for raping democracy everytime we delete a personal insult.

    You want to take full advantage of democracy, Cameron? Start your own damn website. Put your own money and time into it. Do something more than intrude on someone else’s hard work. You’re a guest here.

  115. JP
    February 3, 2013

    Comment

  116. jimdandy
    February 3, 2013

    [deleted]

  117. kasper
    February 3, 2013

    To say Lincoln is Spielberg’s WEAKEST is just plain old nasty. You mean to tell me it’s weaker than The Terminal, weaker than Hook, weaker than Jurassic Park 2, weaker than the last Indiana Jones, weaker than Always? And let me be clear I don’t think all the films I listed are horrible films, but they are in no way in the same league as Lincoln.

  118. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    Lol! My mom just came back from the theater after watching SLP with a bunch of 60-smth and she loved it sooo much. I can’t really figure out whether she just liked Bradley Cooper or the film itself, but she says she felt really moved and sorry for the guy. So here you go… Harvey gets my mom’s vote once again, thank God she’s not part of the Academy!

  119. Britt
    February 3, 2013

    What an amazing year it has been for movies….i mean hell, its at least been one of the most debated. It sure hasn’t been a 2 pony race, and i think that says somehting about the caliber of the movies released this year.

  120. JP
    February 3, 2013

    1) Kathleen Kennedy and Tim Burton will walk out of the Dolby Theater empty handed. She for the 8th time. He may never have a chance like this again.

    2) Academy Awards have lost its touch as a very expected moment. With 1000000 awards proliferating even year and the same film winning everything in good or bad years (DGA/PGA combo goes together for the 6th year in a row), the Oscars have became a ratify act. And considering the last time they swimmer against consensus, they awarded the worst film to ever win BP, they will probably not vote against a PGA/DGA/SAG winner. Even if they think something else is more deserving.

    3) If David Fincher was snubbed for The Social Network or Paul Thomas Anderson for TWBB? I’m SURE no commotion.

    4) The Actors rule the Academy. That’s why we live in a world in which Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and Robert Redford but Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock.

    5) If even average to mediocre films like Braveheart, Dances With Wolves and Ordinary People could win, a much much much better one like Argo could without even being nominated for directing.

    6) Tom Kushner is likely gonna be “robbin hooded” of his Oscar to try to legitimize a choice for Argo. Two Oscars Picture/Editing without Directing/Cinematography nod… they will have to pretend the film deserves more.

  121. February 3, 2013

    With all this stuff behind us, I can’t believe Oscar ballots still haven’t gone out yet. So theoretically, it’s still anyone’s game.

  122. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Ok we have exactly 3 weeks and i am still hopeful that Lincoln will win at least BD, if not both BP and BD combo. Keep my fingers crossed.

    But i also wonder. We all keep talking about the history to be made if Argo wins without BD, etc. what about history if Lincoln wins BP? Is there anyother BP winner without any major win on the way? No maor critics win, No BFCC, No GG, no SAG bes ensemble, No PGA or DGA and probably no BAFTA.
    So any other BP winner that won nothing but just BP???? Just curious.

  123. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    what about history if Lincoln wins BP?

    The only way Lincoln makes history is if it becomes the first film to lose every major award heading into the race and win BP. I think that’s happened a few times but it’s pretty rare. Although SAG and PGA history is pretty short by comparison to what Argo is up against. Braveheart and Out of Africa, for instance, had won Globes director I think? Out of Africa is probably the closest example to Lincoln winning BP (Which I am not sure is possible now) – and ironically that was the year Color Purple was shut out for director.

  124. February 3, 2013

    @Cameron I really liked Cloud Atlas also.

    Aren’t movies about entertainment? Are they supposed to move the audience emotionally?

    The movie that I enjoyed the most (yes, even though I knew at the time that is what it was trying to do) was Argo. That’s why it’s winning. A close second for me would be Silver Linings Playbook.

    Both Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty left me feeling cold. I’m a history buff and a politics geek but really Spielberg’s film should have been renamed The 13th Amendment instead, because that was really what the film was about. As for Bigelow’s film, I think she made a conscience decision about what emotions she wanted her film to provoke in her audience, and good feelings are not on the list. (Which is an interesting, mature choice, because she could have made an uber-patriotic, jingoistic film about the killing of Osama bin Laden but chose not to).

    The other main contender for me is Life of Pi which is really an astonishing technical achievement. Lee is able to make it seem plausible that an Indian teenager survives on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for hundreds of days. But in the end that film disappointed me with its overall message about “faith.”

    I think it is very possible Argo will win Best Picture and not very many Oscars.

  125. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Oh and Aragorn BAFTA doesn’t really have any precedent either for this year, but also they’ve only been important to Oscar for the past ten years because before that they were held after the Oscars.

  126. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I’m a history buff and a politics geek but really Spielberg’s film should have been renamed The 13th Amendment instead, because that was really what the film was about.

    It was certainly not all Lincoln was about. It was about Lincoln as a politician, it was about how difficult it is to change minds, it was about equality, it was about his relationship with his wife, it was about his team of rivals and yes, it was about making history. Argo is winning because it is a film most people liked and few people hated. And that’s fine. That’s how the Oscar race is run.

  127. JP
    February 3, 2013

    @ Aragorn

    Braveheart. Only won WGA because The Usual Suspects was not eligible.

    Crash won “only” SAG ensemble. Once again, it’s no surprise the winner is always what the actors want. It’s no surprise it took 53 years for Walt Disney Pictures to put an animated film in the BP lineup even when Snow White, Fantasia and Pinochio were released when there were 10 nominees. It’s not a surprise that both WALL-E/The Dark Knight were snubbed and that Christopher Nolan is yet to get first directing nomination.

  128. February 3, 2013

    that may explain why some of my comments get mysteriously deleted.

    Christophe, nothing gets deleted that I don’t know about. And I know of only one comment of yours that got deleted.

    Here’s what that was: Another reader earlier this month made a crude comment. You commented about that comment. Then the first reader emailed me and asked if I would remove her comment because she felt bad about it. So I deleted the crude comment, and your comment no longer made any sense so I tossed it out too.

    Please let’s not portray that you have had a bunch of comments being mysteriously deleted. That’s false. I know what’s been deleted, and that incident is the only time any of your comments have been touched.

    If you’re having a problem with comments not showing up. then email me about it. Sometimes the spam filter is overactive.

    Just don’t claim that your comments are being deleted because I’d like to reassure you, you’re mistaken.

  129. Keys Strong
    February 3, 2013

    Dear Shasa. Clearly the academy (and many people on this page) hates Spielberg. What it has done since the 70s. With several humiliations along the way. We all remember the year of The Color Purple or theft that involved not win BP for Saving Private Ryan, among many others. Today I’d bet my money that Spielberg will gain nothing on the 24th. I am especially by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose only fault is to participate in a Spielberg film. Hollywood’s glory gold cover rookie Affleck and his very poor film.

  130. JP
    February 3, 2013

    “I’m a history buff and a politics geek but really Spielberg’s film should have been renamed The 13th Amendment instead, because that was really what the film was about.”

    Good. Amadeus should also be renamed as Salieri: Envy and The Last King of Scotland as The Man Who Has Sex With Dada’s Wife.

  131. Max DaVinci
    February 3, 2013

    Wow, very intense in here. Lol. To me Lincoln was “boring” but it was my fault, really, because I really don’t know anything about him. I am not from the US, I am from Mexico and honestly I only knew Lincoln “ended” slavery in some sort of way, so when I saw it, it was a lot of information and I kind of got lost in the middle and didn’t know what was happening. The great thing, imo, about the movie is that it didn’t bore me to the point where I said “shit, I don’t wanna know about Lincoln for the rest of my life” but it actually made me curious and made me do my research about him. So, yeah, I would say Lincoln is a great movie because it was well done and has powerful dialogue. My personal favorie? No, because I didn’t feel it because of my knowledge about him but I’m still glad I watched and I can understand where people come from saying it’s the best of the year.

    Now in terms of DDL and this Joaquin Phoenix debate, I wanted to know if really Phoenix was superior so I watched the Master yesterday and, imo, DDL was better. Phoenix is great, but DDL really knocked it out of the park. What I can say is holy shit at Seymour-Hoffman, I hope he wins. He is way better than the overrated performance by Lee Jones. I’d rather have DeNiro win than TLJ.

  132. Cléverton Bezerra
    February 3, 2013

    I’m actually really happy to see Argo winning. Argo, Life of Pi, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty were the best movies and I’d love to see one of them winning (any of them). I’d love to see Haneke, Lee or Zeitlin winning. Those were impressive directing achievements this year. And, although I like Spielberg, I must admit Lincoln if not his best work and certainly not the best movie in the Best Pic Race (neither the worst). I’m not here to campaing for any movie (I don’t like that) and I agree with Sasha when she says that the OSCARS are not abouth US public anymore (and for me that’s a great thing).
    Having said that, I must admit that it’s kind of discouraging to read Awardsdaily in the past weeks, because it became a wall for campaining for Lincoln and a reactionary wall to belittle other movies, such as Argo, for winning instead of Lincoln.
    And, just to make myself clear: if this site became a full campaing for Argo or Zero Dark Thirty or Django instead of other movies, I’d be annoyed too, because when I started reading Sasha’s texts what I loved was the fact that, even though she clearly like some movies more than other (we all do), she didn’t make her preferences dominate her texts.
    I will be coming back everyday for this website, because it became a tradition for me, but lately it’s far from the pleasure I used to experience while reading this.

  133. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    @ryan
    I don’t have no problem, it was just a ploy to introduce my silly remark about wearing no pants while reading AD. I agree that very often when you delete comments it is actually a kind gesture that prevents commenters from embarrassing themselves too much ;)

  134. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Having said that, I must admit that it’s kind of discouraging to read Awardsdaily in the past weeks, because it became a wall for campaining for Lincoln and a reactionary wall to belittle other movies, such as Argo, for winning instead of Lincoln.

    We championed Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Cloud Atlas, Life of Pi all year long. Now that it has come down to the wire we chose the film we most wanted to push as we do EVERY YEAR. And we get shit for EVERY YEAR and I have to write this exact same comment EVERY YEAR. My hope is that people like you who don’t like the content find another website because the truth is I hate dealing with some of you people as much as you hate reading what I write. Trust me. I beg you. Find another place to go. There are so many of them.

  135. Jack Traven II
    February 3, 2013

    The Artist, The King’s Speech and now, Argo — these are films that do not challenge us in any way. They are solid, good films

    Oh, that’s a bit unfair on Argo. The Artist and The King’s Speech were OK films indeed – but Argo is way better, way more unforgettable, IMO. It might not be as challenging as others, but it made me think much more than the other two did.

    But isn’t it actually interesting that, now that we have a little film again that might be able to win BP, no one really wants to embrace it. Yeah, I know, I know, it’s because of the director snub. But was it Ben Affleck’s fault that they didn’t nominate him? Well, no. Would it have been better to nominate him? Of course. But, WTF. In the end, I wouldn’t mind if his film won BP. I mean, it’s a much better choice than the last two years, IMO.

    But how about this: Maybe they showered him with all those recent awards just to soothe him, to make him feel accepted after all. But come Oscar night the one (larger than life) film that so many saw (at least in the US) and everybody seems to talk about (whether to praise it or trash it) might arise from the ashes. Just to astonish everyone. And to make sure that the flame doesn’t go out.

  136. February 3, 2013

    you’re a good guy, Christophe. So it worried me that you wondered what happened to your comment on Jan 10. Since I recall what that was all about I’m happy to explain that it was innocent.

  137. February 3, 2013

    Fact is, that the more I think of Argo, the more embarrassed I feel for the reviews it had, or the awards is collecting. One of those embarrassing “hollywoodized” dramatizations that actually invent out of the blue the most chilling scenes. At least Affleck directed it more than competently, and the cast is an ensemble to die for.

    But there’s not a single excuse to give Argo more than 4 stars out of 5. It is just an above average thriller – with oh, so many clichés forced into the events – and the fact that people is complaining about the “invented” explotaition of “The Impossible” (while the real family confirms things took place in that way) while celebrating Argo… well you get my idea. The power of marketing.

    The Impossible is still my number 1 film of the year. Argo is already in #12, and I’ve seen only 2 out of the Best Picture nominees, for the matter.

  138. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Oh, that’s a bit unfair on Argo. The Artist and The King’s Speech were OK films indeed – but Argo is way better, way more unforgettable, IMO.

    I think Argo is about on par with The Artist, which is a very high compliment. I think all three films give you a comforting glow and leave you feeling satisfied. That’s the kind of movie that wins, or wins now. The Hurt Locker was a long time ago.

  139. akumax
    February 3, 2013

    “My hope is that people like you who don’t like the content find another website because the truth is I hate dealing with some of you people as much as you hate reading what I write. Trust me. I beg you. Find another place to go. There are so many of them.”

    Dear Sasha, I read this blog with interest as I read other blogs and sites and magazines… it is sad to read a comment like that from the owner. very sad.

  140. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    ZDT collapsed because the filmmakers were grossly irresponsible and manipulative. I get called mean names when I say this, but I have never seen a film about a comparative major historical event so madly rushed to the screen before the dust had even settled and any careful assessment of events had taken place. It comes across as hubris and an attempt to capitalize on history rather than report it accurately. It’s almost an attempt to game the awards system, to put forward an irresistable narrative of the “heroic woman who tracked down bin Laden” (a narrative so awards season ready that only the gullible wouldn’t wonder if it was too good to be true) before anyone had a chance to determine if this was accurate. Every aspect of ZDT is deeply offensive-the way the film rushes to capitalize on historical events and even sexual politics; the way the film was strategically previewed in December, just the right moment to cash on awards season yet potentially not enough time for the film to be properly vetted; the way the film was promoted as journalism yet quickly became “entertainment” when the scrutiny began; the mindless way every criticism is brushed off as some conspiracy to undercut the supposedly heroic film of the supposed heroic woman who was so vital in catching bin Laden that she didn’t even get promoted, which is spun as yet another sign of her heroism. (see a pattern?). ZDT has died a fully warranted death, and I happily drink its blood and toast to its demise.
    Anyway, I think Argo takes it.

  141. February 3, 2013

    Jack Traven II… while The King’s Speech and The Artist were challenging and deep films with real messages, Argo is just a pop corn adaptation of a real event that doesn’t even dare to build the tension out of the real facts but have to include artificially every single “thriller” cliché, from comfrontations that never happened to a runway chase that was laughable at best (seriously, the tower of the airport would simply forbade the Swissair aircraft to take off… that’s how it works).

    The King’s Speech dare to analyze concepts as power, monarchy, responsability, privacy, and can be hardly called a superficial film. The Artist was a risky project that also had several levels.

    Argo is just surface. Entertaining, well filmed, excelently acted. But surface. Django Unchained is 10 times a better film than Argo is.

  142. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    I remember leaving Argo and thinking it was a well made and fun movie…then i remember leaving Lincoln thinking it would/should be the frontrunner for BP, if not a lock for the win…

    And honestly i was a bit worried about how the general audience would respond to Lincoln. But then to my surprise it kept making more and more money at BO…if you told me then that a dialogue heavy movie about Lincoln wold make almost 200 million dollars i would have found it hard. And luckily it did. So i dont want to accept that people didnt/dont like Lincoln…especially at this age negative word of mouth would have stopped it from making this much money. Noone would go and pay 10-14 dollar for ticket and spending two and a half hour for a movie that he/she already knows not good….so Lincoln’ connection problem is not with the public or audince but with the guilds and the academy.

  143. Watermelons
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve been posting bizarre and disagreeable comments on AD for years. I’ve managed to avoid getting my comments deleted. It’s not exactly easy to get your words stricken from this site’s record. Hats off to the scoundrels who manage to shed themselves of so much simple decency.

    SPEAKING of decency, I wonder if the Academy will be so decent as to nominate Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (Sense & Sensibility, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) upon her return to the big screen acting at which she excels? That’s the State of the far-off Race I wish to know. Fingers crossed that Alan Rickman-directed gardener romance film sees a big Awards Season release!

  144. AnthonyP
    February 3, 2013

    Come on Sasha. Are you telling me you don’t like controversy in these comments?
    I’d stop reading them if every comment was a “yup” in agreement with your take on Lincoln.
    Vulgarity is not necessary, but talking down to opposing opinions is not cool either.
    The trick is remembering these are all opinions. Be lucky this many people give a crap at all or you’d be writing to the wind.

  145. February 3, 2013

    akumax

    you should not take that personally. If you are not one of the people who hates what Sasha writes then you are not one of the readers Sasha hates to deal with.

    but surely you can understand how it would be natural for you to hate dealing with people who seem to hate you, right?

  146. Watermelons
    February 3, 2013

    *simple decency.

    Please do not think me a fool for the typo in my previous comment.

    [what typo? ... one thing I hope readers realize. When I have time, I spend a whole lot more effort fixing your comments that I spend deleting them. -- Ryan]

    I have Kate Winslet’s Titanic playing in another window and I’m speaking all the lines out loud along with the film. It makes typing a tad difficult! :-)

  147. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    This is funny. After i reread my previous comment i feel like i need to disagree with something about it. The AMPAS still felt connection with Lincoln. Otherwise why would they have given it 12 nominations, more than any other movie…

    I am disagreeing with myself 3 minutes later. I shouldnt have had that last mimosa at the brunch:)

  148. Keys Strong
    February 3, 2013

    I repeat my theory. So that nominate both a film that then do not give even a single prize? It’s humiliating. I think Mr. Spielberg would be happier these days at home and not having to go to dinner at dinner to see how his film is not considered at all. If you think there is no need to humiliate. Nevertheless Spielberg will be the 24th in LA, go with empty hands and start working on some new fantastic movie to give us all. With the same humility as always. And if you re-nominate in the future he will sit in the stalls.

  149. Watermelons
    February 3, 2013

    ” I shouldnt have had that last mimosa at the brunch:)”

    Speaking personally, I’m ALL FOR a good mimosa brunch! I would be curious to get one good, inside-baseball report of the development of the thought process of an Academy voter. If you and I can change our feelings on these things over the course of a few minutes, what must be going on in their minds??

  150. Chris
    February 3, 2013

    I’m a bit conflicted because I really did love Argo but thought Lincoln was the best film in the last several years. I want nothing more than for the film and Spielberg to win on Oscar night but it certainly doesn’t look good. The one thing I disagree with Sasha about in her post is that I don’t think Haneke or Zeitlin have a chance at winning because both could be seen as another slap at Affleck. I think if Argo is to go the distance so to speak and end up winning Picture then David O. Russell will be your Best Director winner. A lot of people were predicting him over Hooper and Tarantino anyway and I can’t see any scenario where the Academy would give the Oscar to either Spielberg or Ang Lee then give Best Picture to something else again. I agree with the first poster who said there would be zero controversy whatsoever if Affleck had been nommed/won. In a scenario where somehow ZD30 wins Editing and Lincoln still wins Adapted Screenplay and Argo ONLY wins Best Picture, does anyone else think that would be the best argument for The Academy to go back to 5 Nominees for Picture?

  151. Danemychal
    February 3, 2013

    I’m convinced now with the DGA win that guild-wide support is there for the inevitable Argo BP win. The preferential ballot should ultimately secure its victory.

    AD would be wise not to spend 3 weeks writing the same pieces lamenting Lincoln’s loss and use whatever influence it has to help secure wins for Lewis, Kushner and Spielberg. Those would be 3 very nice Oscars to win.

  152. Marie
    February 3, 2013

    Saying a film is boring as a way of dismissing its quality is a cop-out. Just calling it boring and unengaging, no one can dispute you on it. Its like saying I didn’t like the movie because I just didn’t like the movie. End of story.
    But if you say that Lincoln had too much talking and political debate, someone could legitimately dispute you on that fact. To me, that argument is misguided because it would be like saying that “Heat” had too much gun violence or Boogie Nights had too much nudity. Talking and political debate is an inherent aspect of a political procedural…and it was Lincoln’s life. (it was his job and he worked all the time.) To me, what’s fascinating about Lincoln the man as presented in the film is the difference between the politican who uses rationalization, charm, and sly persuasion usually quite effectively to enforce his will and the family man who can’t do the same in his own life, who resorts to slapping his son because his rhetoric doesn’t work on him, and who can’t get his wife to mourn Willie’s death in a more dignified way. Emotional self-containment works for a politican; not as much for a father..(unless he’s raising a 10 year old kid who loves him in simple uncomplicated way) What works as a politican doesnt work in family life. But oddly, there is an intimacy about Lincoln’s white house as presented in the film. He literally works from his home and his cabinet members and aids are his companions (remember when his aid wakes up to Lincoln sitting on his bed). They are his surrogate family in a way. In his conversations with Ulysses S. Grant and Michael Stuhlbarg’s character, we learn of his guilt over the war and the brutality of his father. The personal at times bleeds into the professional.

    I wonder what people would think about My Dinner with Andre (all that talking).

    The truth is that Lincoln is not very cinematic in a noticable way. To some people, its a well-photographed, subtlely acted play. (Of course, the subtlety of film acting often is what distinguishes a film from a stage play). If it wins adapted screenplay and best actor (and supporting actor), then its obviously done its jobs effectively.

    BTW, “edgy” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as ‘challenging”. LIncoln is intellectually challenging. Just thinking about what Lincoln means by the question “Do we choose to be born” is an intellectual and philosophical challenge, especially since he brings it up right after delaying a peace conference.. Hell, Pulp Fiction (a film most people admire) was edgy for its day; but I wouldn’t say it was ever ‘challenging’. Now, ZD30 is challening.

  153. Zooey
    February 3, 2013

    hah, Sasha deleted the part of my comment saying that she should stop insulting people who disagree with her and only a few posts later she nearly calls somebody “asshole”. WOW! That’s fair! All I could say is that people shouldn’t allow they personal issues to be part of this discussion!

    Other than that, here are the films that won best picture without the DGA win (since the first DGA winners):

    Crash – won SAG (cast)
    Gladiator – won Golden Globe, PGA, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice
    Shakespeare In Love – won Golden Globe, SAG (cast), later won BAFTA
    Braveheart – won the Globe for directing
    Driving Miss Daisy – won Golden Globe, PGA
    Out of Africa – won Golden Globe (drama)
    Chariots of Fire – won NBR, but was considered foreign at the Globes
    Oliver! – won Golden Globe
    In the Heat of the Night – won Golden Globe, NYFCC for best picture
    Around the World in 80 Days – won Golden Globe, NYFCC for best picture
    The Greatest Show on Earth – won Golden Globe (including drama and directing)
    An American In Paris – won Golden Globe

    That’s 12 films in 65 years. How many of them didn’t win the Globe?
    CRASH & BRAVEHEART
    Chariots of Fire got the Globe but in foreign
    So that’s 3 films that won without the Globe and the DGA!

    BRAVEHEART is the only one without the Globe, the DGA and the SAG.
    CRASH had the SAG (cast).

    So if LINCOLN wins without the Globe, without the DGA, without the PGA, without the SAG (cast), it’ll be only the second film in history – with BRAVEHEART being first. So it’s just as rare as ARGO winning.

  154. February 3, 2013

    Are you telling me you don’t like controversy in these comments?

    This page is rife with controversy and conflict. Nobody minds that. Lots of people like it.

    But there are boundaries of petty swipes and personal attacks that are tedious and won’t be tolerated, that’s all.

  155. February 3, 2013

    I find it reprehensible to read others accuse this site of steamrolling a single film, when in effect there have been numerous features defending the “case” for all the nominees and numerous prospective scenarios. When you come here with hate you shouldn’t feel indignant when you are rebuffed.

    And yes, the site belongs to the people who expend their blood, sweat and tears.

    It’s funny, but my middle school has conducted two field trips to local multiplexes to see LINCOLN, and the 13/14 year olds that watched it found it enthralling–anything but boring.

    LINCOLN > ARGO.

  156. February 3, 2013

    Lincoln is going to do fine Oscar night, it’s just not going to win Best Picture. People are setting themselves up for heartache by relying on past Oscar stats. For all we know, this may be what future Oscar nominations will look like: great films, directed by great directors who don’t get a nomination. The prize for the film will be it winning the Best Picture Oscar.

    I think based on such a heated discussion, it’s safe to say that the Best Picture is the top award of the top award, and earning a best director nom/award is second place.

  157. Corvo
    February 3, 2013

    This year to me it’s anyone but Bigelow. Now that Bigelow is out whoever will win I’ll be happy. Lincoln is better than Argo but Affleck is better than Spielberg.

  158. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    At this point I’m just holding out for Kushner. I can live with DDL, Tommy Lee, Sally Field not winning.
    I’m resigned to Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy being passed over. But only just.

    Kushner losing, though, will devastate me.

  159. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha and others,
    Thank you for answering my question above…

    Ohhh now i am feeling weird about Lincoln making a history a la Braveheart!!!!! They are not even in the same league kn my opinion…i watched Braveheart and forgot about it 10 minutes later…But i still thik about LIncoln. But then sometimes i am not sure if i think about Lincoln the movie a lot recently because of the President that i respect a lot. Or i think about the Lincoln the President a lot because i really enjoyed the movie a lot…i think it goes both ways for me…

    Oh also i loved the book a lot as well…

  160. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    Actually, scratch that. I’ll be totally pissed off if Kathleen Kennedy gets overlooked.

    What an old boys club, eh.

  161. Jack Traven II
    February 3, 2013

    Jesus Alonso – I pretty much agree with your thoughts about Argo. It is a thriller-like film with an over-the-top finale. But at least it made me care about the characters and – like I said – it made me think afterwards.(Why? Well, maybe because of the REAL background? Gee, I don’t quite remember. Or shall I say I do? ;-)) Something The Artist and The King’s Speech were not really able to do. Well, that’s not entirely true, since I thought that The Artist could have been made way better to convey what the people behind it wanted it to convey. And The King’s Speech, well, all I remember is a stiff Brit grimacing. ;-)

  162. February 3, 2013

    The only prospective scenario at this point that would irrevocably convince me that ARGO will cop the Best Picture prize on February 24 would be if Chris Terrio were to triumph over Tony Kushner with the WGA next week.

    However, I do NOT personally believe this will or can happen, and after Kushner wins there can be some persuasive arguments as to who and how LINCOLN will prevail in the end.

  163. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    If that does happen, Sam, then turn off the lights; party’s over.

  164. February 3, 2013

    The fact that realistically ARGO can only win 2 Oscars maximum (Picture and Film Editing) continues to have me thinking it may NOT land the top prize when all is said and done.

    Any predictions that have Affleck’s film winning Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay are extreme long shot in proposition.

  165. February 3, 2013

    I agree Spacey, absolutely.

    But I would bet a large sum of money it will not happen.

    Anyone willing to take my action? I’ll parlay it with the Baltimore Ravens today.

    Terrio’s screenplay has won NOTHING from any critics or awards group, and a win over Kushner would be an embarrassment for that guild, methinks.

  166. Cléverton Bezerra
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha,

    I don’t hate your site. I’ve just been feeling really uncomfortable with the fierce Lincoln flag raised lately (in a more intense way than other years). That’s what I said and meant in my comment.

  167. February 3, 2013

    It comes across as hubris and an attempt to capitalize on history rather than report it accurately. It’s almost an attempt to game the awards system, to put forward an irresistable narrative of the “heroic woman who tracked down bin Laden” (a narrative so awards season ready that only the gullible wouldn’t wonder if it was too good to be true) before anyone had a chance to determine if this was accurate.

    My mom refused to see ZDT for this reason. She called it “cheating”.

  168. Pierre de Plume
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve visited and loved this site for years – keep coming back because of the insightful commentary both from the moderators but also the commenters. I like the fact, unlike other similar sites, that long, involved comments are not only encouraged but often responded to. What bothers me are the relatively few people who seem to think they have a right to be abusive and annoying or to challenge the prerogatives and authority of the moderators. If stuff like this keeps up, who knows what may happen? It can become more trouble than its worth to keep the site up – who wants that kind of acrimony? I know I wouldn’t. I want to see this site continue to flourish and for Sasha and Ryan to feel like it’s all worth it – so that we may all benefit from having such a place to congregate and share our ideas and opinions, even if they may differ.

  169. Elton
    February 3, 2013

    Come on Sasha. Are you telling me you don’t like controversy in these comments?
    I’d stop reading them if every comment was a “yup” in agreement with your take on Lincoln.
    Vulgarity is not necessary, but talking down to opposing opinions is not cool either.
    The trick is remembering these are all opinions. Be lucky this many people give a crap at all or you’d be writing to the wind.

    Exactly.

  170. J. Cochrane
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha and Ryan –

    1) Thanks for all the work you do on the site – which brings my appreciation and enjoyment of film and the yearly Oscar season to a new level.

    2) Sasha – Do you really think Haneke is likely for Director now? I would love that choice, but don’t see how Spielberg can be ignored – especially since Affleck can not win. Plus, has anyone ever won Director for a film in a foreign language film or production outside of the US/England? (To me, THE ARTIST doesn’t really count – since it was mostly silent and sidestepped the language soundtrack barrier.)

    The best film won’t win this year, according to many people. How is that any different than most years – where great work is often overlooked for the nominees that year who are either “overdue”, whose work is Academy friendly or have captured the industry’s attention with their personal stories? My ballot choices rarely win. That’s just how it is. I’m sure others feel the same.

    Even if LINCOLN or LIFE OF PI, AMOUR, or ZERO DARK THIRTY do not win Best Picture or other awards they might deserve, they will still age well over time and be revered for their quality. The awards and snubs are not forgotten, but they quickly become a footnote to history.

    In other words, would most people rather watch GOODFELLAS, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, DR. STRANGELOVE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, or APOCALYPSE NOW — or would they rather watch DANCES WITH WOLVES, FORREST GUMP, MY FAIR LADY, CRASH, or KRAMER VS. KRAMER? I would argue that both sets of films are great, but that most movie buffs would be more likely to see the first group as superior. Great art survives, regardless of awards – though its always nice to see one’s opinion validated or agreed to with others. The best thing I like about awards season is that it helps alert me to the existence of these films in the first place.

  171. Reichdome back with AVENGEANCE
    February 3, 2013

    “The only thing is I can’t believe it took me this long to realize why my favorite three films of the year, CLOUD ATLAS, THE HOBBIT, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES were treated like bastard children. I do believe this is what they call a “long con”.” your spot on as usual Antoinette.

    In fact, it seemes that ‘Argo’ has run it ‘public good will’ gauntlet. Most people overwhelmingly either favour Lincoln and, frankly other films not making the best picture cut like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

    The biggest understated story of oscar is their missed opportunity…failing Lincoln’s inevitable unjustified and unforgiveable defeat………OScar could not even bring themselves to embrace the Dark Knight Rises.

    Nobody here should dare justify remotely OScar attitude and culture of ignorance. Nobody should justify why Dark Knight Rises should have been snubbed.

    And all said and done, nobody should DARE justify the film that will prob tie for equal lowest total of oscar wins in oscar history= Argo…somehow is more worthy of best picture compared to to the near flawless masterpiece that is Lincoln- which will almost certainly win most of the awards…bar best picture, director and the way it headed probably screenplay. (though that would be the last straw for my tolerance of oscar’s bullshit- sorry from now on each year i call it as it is)

    Nope the days where the film that wins best picture wins on average year in and year out 5 oscar wins MINIMUM is over. OScar’s statement of mediocrity celebration in film is all but gonna be reflected in the simple fact the runner up (likely Lincoln) will win 3 times the quantity of oscars compared to Argo.

    And when it comes to oscar QUANTITY OF AWARDS = QUALITY lest a film that as brilliantly crafted artistically as it is in script and acting combined is all the greater than a film that just wins picture and one or two other oscars it a more complete COMPLETE for crying out loud result and justified when the best picture is the film that also wins the most oscars on the night.

    Welcome to the bullshit oscar years………what a farce!!!!

    And yet for all the talk and my own anger and fury…i do take up and agree with Antoinette’s point why is it ballots have not been distributed yet? I really hope and have a hunch Lincoln will not be done just yet as a force to be reckoned with…..but it hard to see oscar betray the guilds…

  172. Bryce Forestieri
    February 3, 2013

    For me saying “LINCOLN shouldn’t win because it’s boring” is a more VALID cinematic argument that trying to link reading books, liking THE MASTER, and being an “intellectual” to some sort of acquired immunity from liking Spielberg’s stuff. That is the argument of some posers on here.

  173. Vincent Grey
    February 3, 2013

    Out of Africa benefited from three Golden Globe wins, including Best Picture. Remember, this was before the SAG and PGA awards. It had a few precursors that made it possible as a Best Picture winner with the Academy Awards.

    Lincoln has only won a few minor critics awards for Best Picture and Director. Most of the acclaim is driven more towards the lead performance. Life of Pi has actually won just a tad bit more directing awards for Ang Lee than Steven Spielberg has. Michael Haneke has just a few, not much. Benh Zeitlin is not too far behind and David O. Russell has won four minor precursors. It’s a very open race. This can easily be Ang Lee’s to win or even Spielberg. But the latter may be not as welcomed if they think two directing wins and a producing win is enough. I would love for Benh Zeitlin to win – but it’s most likely not going to happen.

  174. Britt
    February 3, 2013

    I think best supporting could go to Christoph Waltz, and best screenplay (adapted) could go to Silver Linings Playbook, i think that just because Lincoln and Life of Pi were nominated for the most awards – does not mean they will leave with the most. I think they will be handed out in close numbers, it will not be an awards sweep. This year has kind broken the mold a little anyways.

  175. February 3, 2013

    Sasha, as much as it is your decision where you draw the line, is it unreasonable to ask you to perhaps draw it in the same place for yourself as for us commenters? Says Zooey: ‘Sasha deleted the part of my comment saying that she should stop insulting people who disagree with her and only a few posts later she nearly calls somebody “asshole”.’

    Sam, you say that Chris Terrio has won nothing from critics groups. In fact, Alliance of Women, Austin, Black, Florida, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Online, Phoenix, San Diego and Southeastern critics groups have all rewarded Chris Terrio for Lincoln. That’s 11 wins out of 20 mentions for Terrio. 11 is also the same as Tony Kushner’s tally.

  176. Watermelons
    February 3, 2013

    Because it’s the picture Oscar deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll vote for it. Because it can take us. Because it’s not our picture. It’s a sneaky guardian, an underestimated protector. A dark horse.

  177. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    @Antoinette-Cheating is a very goof description.

  178. Winston
    February 3, 2013

    *Edit-good description.

  179. SallyinChicago
    February 3, 2013

    I’m hoping for upsets across the board. If the academy starts out awarding Tommy L Jones best supporting and Anne Hathaway best supporting, I’m turning it off, because it’s a done deal across the board. Please academy, give us some surprises!

  180. phineas
    February 3, 2013

    Watching LINCOLN is more boring than watching gras grow.
    Ang Lee should best Director.

  181. Anthony
    February 3, 2013

    Have you watched grass grow? I find it fascinating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbiQtfr6AYk

    “It’s the slow knife that cuts the deepest.”

    Lincoln is this year’s slow knife.

  182. JP
    February 3, 2013

    “Sam, you say that Chris Terrio has won nothing from critics groups. In fact, Alliance of Women, Austin, Black, Florida, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Online, Phoenix, San Diego and Southeastern critics groups have all rewarded Chris Terrio for Lincoln. That’s 11 wins out of 20 mentions for Terrio. 11 is also the same as Tony Kushner’s tally.”

    Yes. That’s the proliferation of awards thats making the Oscars just a ratify act. But in this case it’s just impossible to compare. It’s a clear case of quantity over importance. Just the fact that Kushner won New York, National Society, Boston and Critics Choice makes him a lot more rewarded than Terrio.

  183. Andrew
    February 3, 2013

    Comparing Argo to Crash is just a dummy spit.

    I have no great love for Argo, and I haven’t seen Lincoln, but I like others here have watched you consistently play its chances down for your beloved Lincoln.

    Now that Argo is sweeping its time to board that train

  184. Eric P.
    February 3, 2013

    I just recently re-watched “Argo”. It falters on second viewing in my opinion. Once you remove all the suspense, I found only the first 20 minutes to be captivating. Once they cut to the Hollywood portions, I feel that the film begins to unravel.

    On the contrary, I also re-watched “Amour”, and by god, that film still had me enthralled. I was completely devastated by the end of it, even though I knew what was coming.

    “You can’t stop what’s coming.”

  185. eclipse22
    February 3, 2013

    sometimes you read things that just leave you searching for words, but you know on the other hand you find real gold nuggets comments that are well thought out and fair , at the very least willing to consider the other side arguments!

    that is a good thing this site has going for it…

    personally i’ve written monologues because i get all revved up over what i read and trends i see these past weeks but then i delete it because just before submitting i think is it worth it?, should i really bother saying this when i know what will be said seeing as this is a privately owned blog!

    its not like i don’t understand her stance but its the delivery aie aie aie….(that’s french for yikes) and this is all i’ll say coz i’ve heard you loud and clear ! that’s why i censure myself

    ok now i really mean it until the baftas :)

  186. Paul
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha,

    I must disagree, once again, with both your characterization that Lincoln is a film about “ideas” or that it is boring for simple minded people. For one, I’ve only seen you mention the buzzword “ideas” without articulating what those ideas are. Are they, as you state later on, “It was certainly not all Lincoln was about. It was about Lincoln as a politician, it was about how difficult it is to change minds, it was about equality, it was about his relationship with his wife, it was about his team of rivals and yes, it was about making history”? If so, I would argue none of these things were presented in a compelling or subtle way.

    Secondly, you suggest this movie is only boring to the simple minded but have you considered that it is in fact boring to those who are already well educated in the subject? Or that the presentation of the material was done in a way that was boring? I could be wrong but believe you stated you’ve never read all of Team Of Rivals – I have, as well as all of Robert Caro’s books on Lyndon Johnson and the Power Broker, Nixonland, biographies on Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Rise and fall of the third reich etc. I state these not to appear intellectually superior but to prove that I’m someone who finds the material (politics, history and biography) inherently interesting but find Lincoln’s presentation of them to be incredibly boring as well as unsubtle. Though they are different mediums, the Netflix TV version of House of Cards has made the passing of a bill significantly more interesting to me, and in theory, nothing is different but how that material was presented.

    We couldn’t agree more about how awesome of a movie The Social Network is, and I would never say you don’t have the right to your own opinion, but as a reader, I’d appreciate if you didn’t try to put those who dislike Lincoln as intellectually inferior, particularly when the opposite might well be the truth. Of the movies I’ve seen nominated for best picture (all of them but Les Miz), Lincoln was by far the one I liked the least. Lincoln is not an intelligent movie, and I know multiple people in my cohort (well read, educated twentysomethings) who felt the same way. Argo isn’t the best movie nominated, but it’s better than Lincoln (IMO).

  187. Zooey
    February 3, 2013

    @ Sam,

    ARGO won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for best screenplay! It’s one of the top three critics, so it’s not NOTHING!

  188. Ben Fan
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha Stone: “I think a BP win without director is a bad precedent….”

    I think you better start getting used to it if the amount of best picture nominees is always over five, and the directors is locked at only five. Or if the directors branch of the Academy keeps voting nominees before the DGA nominees come out.

    I just think it will keep happening as the rules have now changed.

  189. Cameron
    February 3, 2013

    Oh, I give up. Let the children fight. If the only way to make a point around here is to do it through hypocrisy, cheerleading and playing the intellectual inferiority card, then let them tear each other apart like wolves.
    I’ll read with the adults now.
    Argo for the win.

  190. CB
    February 3, 2013

    Antoinette, the fact that anyone else in the world loves Cloud Atlas – that is the small comfort I will draw this Oscar season.

    I think Argo is gonna defy history and win BP and I also think Spielberg will not get his third Director Oscar this year. I think we’re seeing the tide has already turned. This means Haneke will probably win Director (though I’m hoping for David O. Russell) and screenplay is probably go to Argo, if only as a proxy Affleck vote. I’m seeing a Lincoln shut-out except for Actor and maybe set design. This is a fascinating year – a year where each film will get 1 – 3 Oscars. In a weird way, it’s more satisfying than a sweep year, even if your film doesn’t win all the ones you want, at least everyone gets a piece of the pie.

  191. lily
    February 3, 2013

    i think academy voters should be embarrassed that their taste is not as mature as the general public of all things, who endorsed that so-called “boring, talky” movie to the tune of $170 million. that shit used to MATTER to these people, and for fair enough reason, in my opinion, considering box office is the only voice the public has. it doesn’t mean the crappy summer blockbusters should win best picture, but if the public actually loves one of those prestigious, oscar-friendly, well-reviewed period epics that they always loved to vote for in the past…why on earth would they not take this chance? that is just bizarre and fucked up to me. i mean, this doesn’t happen every year anymore, they should jump at the opportunity

  192. Bryce Forestieri
    February 3, 2013

    @Antoinette and @CB

    CLOUD ATLAS wipes the floor with ARGO so bad this whole thing reeks to disgrace

  193. Bball_Jake
    February 3, 2013

    I stopped caring about this Oscar race, when they snubbed The Dark Knight Rises, one of the greatest films ever made. And now we have Argo winning Best Picture, it could go down as the worst Best Picture winner ever. Hello People!!!! Are you guys not as surprised as me that Argo is sweeping everything? Why, just why? Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, and Les Miserables all put Argo to shame.

  194. CB
    February 3, 2013

    @Bryce Forestieri

    Another one! Well that makes my year then, and it’s only early February ;)

    The great thing about Cloud Atlas, vs. almost all the other nominees this year, is that no matter what, it’ll be watched years on out into the future. Love it or hate it, it’s a thoroughly different and impossibly replicatable achievement. The fact that they did 6 narratives all at once and it was still understandable (much less enjoyable, moving, thought-provoking, and beautiful) means that it will remain an immortal and singular cinematic work of art. The great thing about the Wachowskis, and Tom Twyker, is that they make films for themselves. Each has had one movie cross over into public love (Matrix, Run Lola Run) and now their more recent stuff is either ignored or disliked. Whatever. I love Speed Racer. I love the Matrix sequels. I love Cloud Atlas.

  195. Cléverton Bezerra
    February 3, 2013

    Paul,

    you said everything.

  196. Christophe
    February 3, 2013

    lily, the academy hasn’t even started voting yet! and they’ve already given lincoln a hefty number of noms. so let’s wait until the final envelope is open, before we start bashing them, shall we?

  197. daveinprogress
    February 3, 2013

    I don’t know if the Academy were ever about the American public. Or any public for that matter. They were created to maintain the industry and look after themselves.

    Re State of the Race: I do think that Lincoln’s chances are fading, but 3 big prizes still look good for DDL, TLJ and Kushner. The lack of pre-cursors may be affecting its original sheen of 12 nominations and perception that it led the race.

    I think too much time and activity has taken place between the announcement of nominations and the deadline for votes to be cast. Timing and perception i always feel are critical to how this eventuates. Whatever has the most colour and movement waved in front of voters for these final days of the campaign are critical. Whether AMPAS does go their own way rmeains to be seen.

    I would love to see Life of Pi take BP/BD – or at least director, for the most brilliant realisation of such a difficult story. I don’t think AMour will win more than Foreign Film, and unless Harvey saturates with SLP, i don’t see that film ovetaking Argo momentum wise. Out of the 5 directors they must choose from – i still believe it will be Spielberg or Lee. But which one? Haven’t got a clue. But would be happy if either wins, and if either goes on to take Best Picture.

  198. Bob Burns
    February 3, 2013

    considering that the Academy have so much extra time to consider their vote this season, we are more in the dark about the outcome than previous year. We don’t know if the precursors will stick.

    the drag is that the Awards should have been spread around more. No way Argo deserves them all…. it reflects poorly on the awarding bodies.

  199. Kel pretending to be another ID
    February 3, 2013

    [I know it's you, Kel, please stop being irritating. Kay thanks.]

  200. Britt
    February 3, 2013

    I enjoyed Cloud Atlas and thought it was wierd it wasnt even nominated for at least make-up…But then again, its the oscars…so anything goes.

  201. Marie
    February 3, 2013

    To Paul,

    I see your point about Sasha’s occasional generalizations, but I still will state again that calling Lincoln ‘boring’ is not film criticism. In your post, you still didn’t explain why its boring. You simply defended your knowledge on the subject and stated which films/projects you preferred.

    Plus, when we are talking about whether or not a film is boring, we are referring to the film in and of itself–intrinsically.

    And with that in mind, it is a movie of ideas–ideas about the burdens of leadership (inherent inevitable loneliness and self-containment), what degree of compromise is acceptable, public presentation of oneself’s beliefs (Steven’s playing down social equality), spirituality as a means of understanding one’s role in history (free will or lack thereof –”Do we choose to be born”), about pragmatic vs idealistic visions for the future (for example, Lincoln’s conversation with Keckley touched on some of this as well as the uncharted [at the time unknowable]territory of post-slavery race relations), about politicians adapting to public attitudes, about whether a true democracy can exist without anarchy, about picking one’s battles, about which ones should come first– equality before the law or full social equality, and the film even touches on what Lincoln once said “as our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew” in the five minute monologue on the legal riskiness of the emancipation proclamation.

    I, by the way, have read Team of Rivals as well as “Fate of Liberty; Abraham LIncoln and civil liberties”..as well as several articles from the Abraham Lincoln Historical cooperative. Kushner’s script subtlely and almost poetically touched on a lot of this stuff but its a 2.5 hour movie, there is only so much a film can delve into.

    Its definitely a movie of ideas; maybe not the ideas you’d like it to be about or the degree to which those ideas are explored, but ideas nonetheless. What I took the most from the movie was that even with all the flaws inherent in our system (as well as moral grey areas), it is still preferrable to the anarchy and social darwinism that anti-government folks seem to prefer. This is not simple anti-slavery film; its a pro-government film (but with a skeptical, realistic presentation of guy wrenching compromise.)

  202. robert L
    February 3, 2013

    Do understand Argo gets Hollywood in the history books. Argo creates the illusion to many that Hollywood had something to do with the politics of the time. If you reward it consciously or unconsciously with “Best Picture” you are voting for the United States of Hollywood. Now one does not have to deal with the Hollywood mundane gossip but grand historical fact. Think about it.

  203. Elton
    February 3, 2013

    There is something about the director’s work on a film that I rarely see people that do not work in film business talk about: DIRECTING ACTORS. I think it’s a point that really counts in the BD race.

    When we watch and recognize a great performance by an actor/actress we usually don’t remember that it is a result of the colaboration of an actor with the director. Directors directs actors. And that is one of the most difficult tasks in directing, since you’re – in most of times – not an actor and Acting is one of the most complex “sciences” in the world. The relationship between ensemble and director is very intense.

    That’s why we see actors talking about how great is working with Tom Hooper – who rehearses several weeks before shooting and always work close to the actors – and also people that dislike David Fincher because he does LOTS of takes, stress his actors and it’s not the cutest guy with his esemble.

    Through Oscar’s history we’ve seen Academy showing admiration to directors known as great directors of actors like Stephen Daldry, Mike Leigh, George Cukor, Alexander Payne, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Minghella, Woody Allen, James Ivory, Milos Forman, just to name a few.

    Well, I think in a year like this, when the Directing category is so open and there’s a contender loved by actors, whose film got 4 acting nominations and who latest film got 2 oscars to its actors, this contender must seriously be considered in the race. I mean, O. Russel made Bradley Cooper deliver a good performance! Bradley Cooper!

    I don’t know how much are his chances, but I think he’s surely on the game.

  204. February 3, 2013

    This is the first Oscar site I commented. It was in 2004 – when I was fighting whit all my forces for a victory for The Aviator.
    I wondered it wasAcademy’s blog, for the name Oscarwatch.
    I like passionate minds. But a really think, sometimes, Sasha is very rude and very “my site, my place, my control, my favorite film is the best film” .
    And this is really disgusting and sounds like imature.
    There’s no reason for a site lives whitout readers and comments.
    Just saying – in peace.

  205. Danemychal
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve held out hope for a Kushner win in Adapted Screenplay all along. But it struck me watching Argo a 2nd time that — with it being such a strong Guild movie — a Chris Terrio win at the WGA is probably going to happen. When Arkin’s character cracks the joke about the WGA, I realized that’s a totally inside joke placed right there for them to eat up. No one else in the general audiences I watched the film with twice got that joke at all, even though its supposed to be a funny line. No laughs from anyone. The WGA is going to love being mentioned in a big-time contender and they get the joke. Terrio has obviously studied and mastered the hallmarks of the traditional screenplay format (Blake Snyder would be proud, as one can easily pick apart Terrio’s script and match it up with everything on his beat sheet for perfect structure).

    All that said, Kushner’s Lincoln script abandoned traditional structure and yet he still made a winner of a movie out of it. Best dialogue in the movies this year, hands-down.

  206. February 3, 2013

    What my point was about those films being bastard children is that it seems obvious to me now that the way the Oscar race is run, you’re more at a disadvantage if your own studio has another more Oscar-baity film in contention. This year The Weinstein Company and Warner Bros. could have owned the entire awards season if they wanted to. They had enough films to do it. But they played favorites amongst their own children, deciding early which films they would push and which they wouldn’t. Because of that some of my favorite films anyway had next to no support in terms of Oscar this year. I don’t know how much it costs to run these campaigns but if you have great films in your stable I can’t understand only running one. I think TWC gave them all a little chance to prove themselves at least but bet on SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. Perhaps that’s even why DJANGO UNCHAINED was released so late. I don’t know. But the later start date with this calendar didn’t seem to help. Either way SLP is definitely more Oscar friendly if you have to pick and choose. I just don’t get picking ahead of time.

    It now is firmly in my suspicious little mind that TDKR was kicked to the curb immediately after it became Oscar poison because of unforeseen events and ARGO became the WB show pony. Especially after CLOUD ATLAS had the ridiculous yellowface controversy and THE HOBBIT suffered from a combination of the “too soon” handicap and the 48fps problem. If these films had been at competing studios I think that all four of them would have lasted into the Oscar race for a lot longer at the very least.

    You guys all remember how much I liked LAWLESS right? lololol So dumb.

  207. Goodvibe61
    February 3, 2013

    Speaking of Kate Winslett in this thread, I happened to catch a screening of Jason Reitman’s Labor Day.

    It’s the kind of film that has the potential to be popular, and the combination of a love story mixed with some thriller elements makes it ripe to garner some critical acclaim as well. The two lead performances, by Winslet and Josh Brolin, are going to be highly regarded by the public, especially the retired set.

    But what I keep thinking about Labor Day, as this awards season is winding down, is that the movie feels distinctly “safe” to me, despite its thrilleresque plot. You don’t feel any real danger is hanging over the characters, it has a nice bow tacked on to the end of it, and I think it will become a significant success in the market place, making it a film people might look at as award worthy.

    So: You might be right about Winslet in 2013, but keep an eye on Labor Day later this year to see how it performs and what the critical reaction is; it might put her back in the game.

  208. Mr-Cinema
    February 3, 2013

    Argo could be the Best Picture winner with the weakest group of additional wins. Picture, Editing, Score, Sound. That is not a flashy group. Especially win Lincoln would match with Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay.

    However, we can’t forget that an Argo wave could have it beating Lincoln for Adapted Screenplay. Remember Precious winning Adapted Screenplay? NOBODY was picking that, and the Academy loved it enough to give it an additional victory. So, if you factor in a possible wave, then Argo could take Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Score, and a Sound award. That group looks much better with Screenplay included. I don’t think Alan Arkin will get enough support though to win for Supporting.

    But I still don’t think Lincoln is dead. Apollo 13 had the same pattern as Argo. So I think we’ll have to wait until the WGA, ACE, and BAFTA weigh in before making a final choice.

  209. ramirodri
    February 3, 2013

    sasha, i love you and your site. for real. i’m here at least for the last four years. and never went nowhere else. and ryan, nobody talks about you, but you really are a nice guy.
    by the way, let’s not get so emotional here. there are many internet-geek-boys here that are in high school or something.
    anyway, despite being faithful, i didn’t like Z30 neither BOSW (this one i tought was really boring): actually, i didn’t like amour, les miz, life of pi – silver linings was funny, argo ok but with an AWFUL ending (that fucking airport scene), lincoln ok (a lot of arrogance ad spielberg shit, but…).

    to me, the best (american financed) movie of the year was django – despite it not being the best from tarantino.

    i would go to best film/direction as it follows:

    tarantino – django
    pta – the master
    sam mendes – skyfall
    wes anderson – moonrise kingdom
    nolan – tdkr OR leo carax – holy motors (foreign guy)
    _____________________________
    zahlin (or stg like that) – BOSW
    haneke – amour (foreign guy)
    bigelow – z30
    cronenberg – cosmopolis

    FOR ME, these are contenders. the rest is the rest. entertaining, as those posts here were..

  210. February 3, 2013

    Argo could be the Best Picture winner with the weakest group of additional wins. Picture, Editing, Score, Sound.

    It’s be lucky too.

  211. Watermelons
    February 3, 2013

    @Goodvibe61

    So: You might be right about Winslet (Iris, The Reader) in 2013, but keep an eye on Labor Day later this year to see how it performs and what the critical reaction is; it might put her back in the game.

    It’s at the top of my to-see list! Thank you for reminding me of this upcoming possible WIN for WINSlet!

  212. Mr-Cinema
    February 3, 2013

    The Apollo 13/Braveheart pattern still has to give Lincoln some hope.

  213. ramiro
    February 3, 2013

    just to finish… i think i would go for best direction for Wes Anderson. really well directed movie. and best movie for django.

    fuck the oscars.

  214. Antoinette
    February 3, 2013

    OT – Don’t look on twitter. Darren Aronofsky tweeted a spoiler about “House of Cards”. I’d only watched the first one. lol I knew this releasing everything at once was a bad idea.

  215. ramiro
    February 3, 2013

    @fabinho, em argo eu (c)argo. hahaahah
    melhor filme do ano? acima de django? holy motors?
    tu tá de brinks ca galere.
    que que é aquela cena do aeroporto?? spielberg é meloso e clichê, mas o filme dele no aeroporto foi menos tosco q aquilo! quem são os iranianos, indios tontos? fodeu o filme, que começou tao bem…

  216. Akumax
    February 3, 2013

    @Ryan

    Yes Ryan, I’m not taking it personally, and I’ve never had a comment removed, but I think that cinema is a vehicle to share ideas and grow through them. I get it’s difficult to manage a site like yours, I get it’s very difficult to moderate when so much passion and different approaches come into play but I don’t understand the “like the contents or go away cause I hate dealing with you people if you disagree”.

    Just that.

    PS: I read only today your post on Lincoln, very good reading, thanks.

  217. February 3, 2013

    Fascinating timeline and argument!
    I can’t help but share a sense of bitterness over how this year has gone down. For every cry of ‘poor Ben Affleck’ I plead ‘Kathryn Bigelow’. Shitting on Zero Dark Thirty was a terrible mistake for industry peeps and journos. A studio took a significant risk in bringing a timely, ballsy film to the big screen. Like Argo, Zero Dark Thirty is solid entertainment, but it also had something to say.
    My personal way of responding, actually, has been to stop resding The Guardian. I’m all for impassioned assessments of a film, and I believe that negative reviews are part of this job, but there is a difference between critical assessment and vindictive slander. And Hollywood Elsewhere.
    I’m not a huge Lincoln fan, but the anti-Spielberg sentiment is ridiculous. baffles me that

  218. Pat
    February 3, 2013

    Oops! I hit enter whilst writing.
    Anyways, just wanted to wrap up by saying that I encourage others to follow suit and stop reading/feeding some of the outlets responsible for this year’s clusteruck.

  219. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Secondly, you suggest this movie is only boring to the simple minded but have you considered that it is in fact boring to those who are already well educated in the subject?

    Educated on the subject is beside the point. Educated on the subject is to miss everything about Lincoln that makes it the masterpiece that it is and I don’t care what any of you guys think – I really don’t. Start your own blog and wax philosophic about it but you will never convince me that what I have seen in that film isn’t great. You just won’t. Sorry.

    Argo isn’t the best movie nominated, but it’s better than Lincoln (IMO).

    No, it isn’t. I don’t care what you people say in the post-game pile-on, I know where Argo was when the race began – I remember what the critics (liked it, weren’t blown away) thought. I was deeply moved by Lincoln not just because of the history but because of the language, the writing and the cinema language. Lincoln is a long, elegant ballet. What it offers may be too subtle for the average movie goer (although $170 million says otherwise) and I will never not think that only lazy minded people find it boring. I happen to know three people who I respect and know very well and perhaps they were bored. But give me ten minutes with them to explain why this movie is so good and they would change their mind and watch it again. I don’t like it when movies you can get all in one go are celebrated as the year’s best. I like it when films you can dive back into multiple times get rewarded. I like it when great achievements that were toiled over for years and years get rewarded. I like it when people consider things beyond checking off the like box on Facebook. Alas, the Oscar race isn’t the place to go looking for that.

  220. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Now that Argo is sweeping its time to board that train

    I will never board that train. Sure, it might win Best Picture but it’s still a train I’ll never board.

  221. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I don’t hate your site. I’ve just been feeling really uncomfortable with the fierce Lincoln flag raised lately (in a more intense way than other years).

    It’s not my job to make you feel comfortable.

  222. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    The fact that realistically ARGO can only win 2 Oscars maximum (Picture and Film Editing) continues to have me thinking it may NOT land the top prize when all is said and done.

    If Argo wins, and it’s still an “if” — it will win: Picture, Screenplay, Editing, Score, Sound maybe supporting actor. That’s if they love it like the guilds love it. It’s going to beat Lincoln for screenplay probably.

  223. Hal
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha
    I’ve seen Argo twice, I’ve seen Lincoln once and I don’t know if I can see it again. Why? It took a toll on me emotionally, I loved the film. There is no denying that Lincoln is the far superior film in every aspect. Argo is a very charming movie that I can watch many times but it’s not groundbreaking by any mean. It does make me a little bit sad that it’s winning everything and Lincoln is not getting the accolades that it rightfully deserved. Many say Lincoln -the film- is too American and It won’t translate overseas and it doesn’t have the universality factor, that might be true but so is Argo. I am not an American, and it was a very emotional experience watching the movie. The second movie that I personalized in this year race is Life of Pi which I think it’s a triumph in filmmaking, plus I love Ang Lee.

    I love this site, I come here almost everyday. I think you’re a great writer but it seems that you have personalized Lincoln so much that you’re not willing to listen to anything else. I hope you won’t delete comments that say that Lincoln is “a boring film” because I still believe that you are above that, and I still believe that you made a site that anyone can still express their opinions even if they don’t agree with our own, they might be harsh to read but as long as they are not personal attacks I hope that you let the commenters comment.

    This site has grown so much and you must know that. It’s not your lawn anymore it’s more like a public garden. I hope this comes across as a complement.

    P.S. I love the article

  224. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Actually, scratch that. I’ll be totally pissed off if Kathleen Kennedy gets overlooked.

    Astonishing to me how few people are even paying attention to this.

  225. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    hah, Sasha deleted the part of my comment saying that she should stop insulting people who disagree with her and only a few posts later she nearly calls somebody “asshole”. WOW! That’s fair! All I could say is that people shouldn’t allow they personal issues to be part of this discussion!

    You start a blog and run a site the way you want. I run my site the way I want. There is no discussion about it from my end. I reserve the right to do as I please. Sorry it doesn’t sit well with you. On the other hand, not sorry.

  226. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Come on Sasha. Are you telling me you don’t like controversy in these comments?
    I’d stop reading them if every comment was a “yup” in agreement with your take on Lincoln.

    There are two things I don’t like: dumb insults at a particular film (in this case, Lincoln) because this isn’t Tumblr. And when you start to attack me, saying things like “grow up” or any manner of the shit that gets spewed. Both will be deleted at my discretion.

  227. Roberto
    February 3, 2013

    Unlikely hood, you said it just right:
    “There’s something eyes-on-the-audience, ultra-safe, bumper-pool, uber-digestible, about the style of The King’s Speech, The Artist, and Argo. The films rarely cut away from characters who are talking. The basic screenplay structure – Act 1, show our lead doing his thing, disrupt his world, have him do little about it, Act 2, he starts to do something, rising action then falling action, at act’s end he got what he wanted but not what he needed, Act 3, race to get what he needs – is followed as closely as anyone ever followed L. Ron Hubbard. The acting is excellent and immersive. The stories of all three aren’t quite true, but they feel like the most handsome possible way to polish real events.”

  228. February 3, 2013

    As many other said, I’ve also been following Sasha’s site since I can´t remember. I’m a film critic from Argentina and I have a blog and I all can say, regardless which are our favourite films of 2012, regardless which films we want to see awarded, that the sad thing is not being able to discuss movies and change opinions about them. I think that is the point. Sometimes reading other points of view, even if they’re different from ours, is a great experience, writing about movies like you do, Sasha, and having people reading what you publish/write is something that you earned. It’s great, not that common, and if you are, as I can see, fascinated about motion pictures, I imagine that talking about them can be equally fascinating. It sounds like a given that exchanging opinions can be interesting, but apparently is not. For instance, Lincoln didn’t blew my mind, Life of Pi did. I also agree with Elton about the importance of directing actors (regarding David O. Russell) and many other things, but I’m open to reading other opinions, like Ryan’s beautiful piece about Lincoln, for instance. If we can express our impressions equally passionate and insightful, then we might not change other people’s mind, but create a fullfiling debate. Discussing movies, that is the whole point.

  229. petros
    February 3, 2013

    i am sure its psychological. possible 5-10 noms for film opens the field. for good and bad. i wonder if there is some math equation here for the last years with the expansion. i strongly believe we will see more surprises in the director field with 5 out of 5to10 nominated movies (aka more movies on the run with a chance). this is going to be tough to predict in the years to come. as i am always disappointed of the nominations (some omissions are scandalous, clous atlas’ a shame, arkin is around 30th best supporting male performance this year), i have learned to endure this whole procedure til the end. these last years i place some considerable bets also. its fun i guess, i ve been a traveler on this race for more than two decades and i always come back here and a couple other decent sites. there shouldnt be hard feelings between fellow movie-lovers, there are not so many as you think.

  230. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    Astonishing to me how few people are even paying attention to this.

    Because it’s the “old boys club”. Everyone’s too busy running around hysterical that poor Ben was “snubbed” and ignoring that one of our greatest producers has yet to win an Oscar.

    Compare Affleck’s resume to Kathleen’s and then we can start having a discussion on what constitues a “snub”

    Ugh… blood boiling!

  231. Someone
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve finally seen LINCOLN yesterday and this movie sucks. Maybe it is important for American audience but Spielberg once again has shown the world that he can destroy even the most interesting subject. It’s too kitsch for me, sorry.
    ARGO doesn’t deserve to win Academy Award but it deserves to win with LINCOLN. Still – I’d prefer LIFE OF PI or DJANGO UNCHAINED. Or AMOUR. Or even BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. I haven’t seen SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and ZERO DARK THIRTY yet.

  232. robert L
    February 3, 2013

    I’ll address my post yesterday. Hollywood is very aware of Oscar history. In order to win Best Picture – Argo must pull in multiple wins at least three. None of Argo’s other nominations has a strong win attached to it. The Lincoln screenplay will win because it is attached to a Pultzer Prize, Tony winner. More so because it address the beauty of the English language.

  233. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    More so because it address the beauty of the English language.

    Thank you!

  234. Doug
    February 3, 2013

    It’s so much more fun coming to this site when I’m on the same bandwagon as Sasha, like I was with The Social Network and Hugo the past 2 years.

    It might have to do with the fact that I’m not American, but I just didn’t connect with Lincoln the way I thought I would. I wouldn’t say I found it boring at all, it’s still a superb film but it’s not my pick for Best Picture. Frankly I’d prefer to see Django win, but I just loved Argo too much to not be happy to see it win.

  235. CB
    February 3, 2013

    I agree with Sasha that Argo is easy stuff for the Academy. I’ve said it before: the script reads like the writer read that adding suspense and obstacles at every turn makes for a compelling watch. Frankly, too many obstacles negates all of them. Alan Arken trying to get to the ringing phone/plane being shot at/movie art being looked at – if one can’t stop them, none can. And my leg stops jittering from it. So it means nothing. I’ve said this before and I stand by it: Argo aims for a B+, achieves the B+, and gets an A from everyone.

    However, I’m with Paul (down to Nixonland – so good! read Before the Storm, too) – I found Lincoln unchallenging, and not as ambitious a biopic as I think Honest Abe deserves. Malcolm X and Ali are challenging, ambitious, and endlessly watchable biopics. I just don’t feel that way about Lincoln. I wish I did…

  236. February 3, 2013

    “Sam, you say that Chris Terrio has won nothing from critics groups. In fact, Alliance of Women, Austin, Black, Florida, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Online, Phoenix, San Diego and Southeastern critics groups have all rewarded Chris Terrio for Lincoln. That’s 11 wins out of 20 mentions for Terrio. 11 is also the same as Tony Kushner’s tally.”

    Fair enough Paddy. What I was basically saying was that it didn’t win from the major critics’s groups, and the Globes. ‘Nothing’ was admittedly the wrong word, especially since it did win LA. On this I came with the wrong information. In any case I still can’t see Terrio winning the WGA ahead of Kushner, not the Oscar in the same category.

  237. February 3, 2013

    Ramiro,
    Who are you?/ Quem é você?

    Everyone says Kushner can’t lose.
    I say Tennessee Williams, The Great, was nominated twice and lost twice.
    Arthur Miller lost in The Crucible too – for Billy Bob Thorton.
    So…

  238. KT
    February 3, 2013

    You know, after all of this, and having accepted that Argo will win Best Picture, I am hoping it only takes home the Best Picture trophy. Yes, going 1 for 7. Then, we have another reason to cite how stupid voters/the Academy are that they cannot recognize superior filmmaking, how utterly restrictive the preferential ballot/the Best Picture setup are, and how RIDICULOUS the Hollywood kiss-assing and awards season as a whole are.

    SUPPORTING ACTOR: Please NO!!! Could be one of the shocks of the night, but you can count Arkin out.

    √EDITING: Very likely, though this award belongs to Zero Dark Thirty – will they actually award Kathryn Bigelow’s film FOR ANYTHING?!?!

    SOUND EDITING: Unlikely
    SOUND MIXING: Unlikely — both will probably go to showier nominees, hopefully Editing to Zero Dark Thirty; Mixing to Skyfall (which could win both) or Life Of Pi…but Argo could come through here if support is unanimous.

    ORIGINAL SCORE: Possible. I know by now to never predict John Williams. I love him tremendously (and I like the Lincoln score), but every time I pick him he loses, even the last time he won the Golden Globe (Memoirs of a Geisha, and believe it or not he has fewer of those than Oscars). This is between Desplat’s unmemorable Argo score and Hanna’s Pi. I wish Desplat’s Zero Dark Thirty got in here, for its enormously effective and innovative use of music. I’m leaning toward Life of Pi.

    √ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Possible. This belongs to Tony Kushner, his MONUMENTAL effort. Lincoln’s screenplay is an incredible achievement. It’s ALREADY being taught in screenwriting classes!!! I’m worried that “Argo fuck yourself” has entered so much into the zeitgeist that a Chris Terrio win could happen. THIS is the category to watch, likely Argo but fingers crossed for Kushner. If Kushner takes this, and Lincoln wins Actor, Supporting Actor, and even Director (not as likely), it will be ridiculous when Argo wins.

    ——-

    Also, for better or worse, Jessica Chastain has recognized in a London interview this weekend the “politics” of the Oscar race. I think she realizes that the film is too hot for her to have the best chance to win. I’m going to be upset with the result of Best Actress–I know it. How the Academy will probably not reward a serious, classical-trained actress with enormous range and versatility over the last two years, with great box office success, with a great story of spending “years on the sidelines,” playing an inspiring real-life heroine who the world can never honor for getting Bin Laden, is BEYOND ME!!

  239. February 3, 2013

    LES MIZ will win Sound Mixing. It is obvious. ARGO isn’t getting it.

  240. KT
    February 3, 2013

    Definitely…I forgot to put that in my post. Yeah, Argo’s out of Sound Mixing.

  241. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    No, the whole point of this website is that every year this same sad shit happens. It’s always a goddamned mutiny. If you want to trash Lincoln, go somewhere else. That’s the last thing I’m going to say about it. Since people only want to trash the movie because I love it, you should also trash Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty. But of course, you would NEVER do that. I run the site the way I run the site. No matter what you guys say – dudes, I have heard it all. 14 years. Alls I’m saying. My only other option at this point is to moderate comments like the Ebert and the NY Times does. They get to decide what comment gets published. So far, Ryan and I have controlled the comments pretty well so we don’t need to do that but this year I’m very close doing just that. Comments mostly ruin websites – I hate going to read a story and then have to read the subsequent reveal of the grossest comments that reside the darkest corners of the human brain. Many of the ones here are insightful and interesting and above all, kind. Those that aren’t get the boot. Usually the anti-Lincoln comments are directly squarely at me. You guys don’t think I can tell? It’s so obvious. And I’ll protect the movie over your right to “free speech,” which doesn’t apply to the editorial content of a privately owned website.

  242. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Definitely…I forgot to put that in my post. Yeah, Argo’s out of Sound Mixing.

    I don’t know. If Argo can win Best Picture it can win sound. Okay so take out sound and you have, at best, Picture, Screenplay, Editing, Score. That’s believable.

  243. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    I love this site, I come here almost everyday. I think you’re a great writer but it seems that you have personalized Lincoln so much that you’re not willing to listen to anything else.

    I’m willing to listen to plenty – just not willing to have a pile of dogshit of a comment stink up my lawn.

    This site has grown so much and you must know that. It’s not your lawn anymore it’s more like a public garden. I hope this comes across as a complement.

    I understand what you’re saying and I appreciate it. But at the end of the day it is a site I have fought to have a voice on. It has always been a site where the readers wanted to control the content. Back when there were forums the forums believed they WERE the website. It took a long time for me to separate me, Sasha Stone, from the readers and the forums. If you guys want to go off on Lincoln or any other movie you can go to the forums. For some reason, people want to come and bring a bag of dogshit and drop it on MY doorstep. Of all of the places they can go online to trash Lincoln this is the WRONG PLACE FOR THAT. It’s a movie I love very much. It’s a movie I’ve been writing about and championing for the better part of a year. Yes, I’ve personalized it like I personalized Hugo, The Hurt Locker, The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Moulin Rouge, Crouching Tiger, Brokeback Mountain. If anyone had come on my site and called Brokeback Mountain boring after it lost the Oscar? You should have seen what a royal cunt I was back then: I was protective of Ang Lee and still am. When readers come here JUST to say “Lincoln was boring” they are doing it to troll, to get attention, to get me mad and I can only play MEAN MOMMY for so long. I am tired of it. As I keep saying, I hate to lose the readership of a devoted reader but if that is the price I pay, I’m willing to pay it. Sorry – that’s just me.

  244. Natasha
    February 3, 2013

    This might be oversimplifying things, but I’m just glad that I have enjoyed everything I’ve seen this year–eight such different films (I haven’t seen Amour yet).

    I really like the way the awards race–specifically Oscar but more in general–creates this wonderful dialogue about what is and isn’t the best film–both between the nomination process and the awards process. It really makes you wonder–is there ONE Best Picture? Was the BEST PICTURE actually even nominated that year for an Oscar, for a Golden Globe, for a Critics Choice?

    This might have all been said before, but for once I don’t have a hard core favorite that SHOULD win BP this year. That having been said, I really feel for the people who are particularly invested in certain films this year and are being disappointed.

    I was hoping for the amusement of watching David O. Russell win the Oscar without a DGA nom–after the reverse situation took place for Ben Affleck. I don’t think it will happen. But one thing for sure–this year’s race has made transparent, more than ever before, the nature of this all as a “game.”

  245. Spacey
    February 3, 2013

    That’s believable.

    And very sad, especially screenplay. Kushner’s screenplay is one of the best of the last ten years. It’s an extraordinary piece and all that character detail and history.

  246. KT
    February 3, 2013

    Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking is probably the max (4 wins). Lincoln and Life Of Pi can certainly match or exceed that. Maybe 3 is the most likely (it should absolutely be lower if they actually vote based on the achievement of the screenplay and editing, both of which Argo is not the best). Someone on another site mentioned how the Argo screenplay will likely be highly regarded due to how it balances tones: excellent beginning, serious Middle East conflict, with thriller/drama and satire. That still wouldn’t be enough for me to vote it over Lincoln. Tony Kushner’s script is so brilliantly inhabited, and largely responsible for the way Lincoln recreates the 1860s political environment. I can’t remember anything from the Argo score, it didn’t resonate with me at all…but we all know how good the Academy’s taste in music is LOL

  247. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    And very sad, especially screenplay. Kushner’s screenplay is one of the best of the last ten years. It’s an extraordinary piece and all that character detail and history.

    I know. It boggles my mind…

  248. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    I would be fine with almost everything…Lincoln losing BP, Spielberg losing BD, even DDL losing BA. But Kushner HAS to win best adapted screenplay…Some voters should see and recognize the quality of his work for Lincoln…it is at a different level than others…

  249. Kiel
    February 3, 2013

    Lincoln is going to win Best Picture. Academy members will not write Argo at the top of their list after not checking a single box beside the word Argo. It’s a psychological thing.

    If Argo doesn’t win Editing, it won’t win Best Picture. And 2012 will be one for the history books.

  250. KT
    February 3, 2013

    ^^^ I’m not sure that’s how it works though. I think they always start with Best Picture, and then work their way down filling in the other categories. Agree if Argo doesn’t win editing…and depending on the outcome of Best Director, HOLY SHIT the suspense will be high.

  251. February 3, 2013

    We have to celebrate Argo for all this wins. This film pleased a lot people. Handsome director, he made 3 films (A Master according to Matt Damon). People feels happy after the film. But the Cinephiles of the world, we are crying. With no director nomination and no cinematography nominations, one supporting actor nomination. For the story, you have to close your eyes for the truth, where are the Canadian who helped (I am Canadian), but films are not documentaries. I preferred The KIngdom by Peter Berg to this simplemind film, at least it has no pretension of a true story. If you want a true film experience, Amour, Beasts are far better. But Oscars are to please people. So we have to accept it.

  252. Aragorn
    February 3, 2013

    KT,

    If they really star with Voting for BP first then i can see Confirmatory Reasoning kicking in and they vote for the same movie in other categories, especially in those that they were not very sure about…

  253. Jack Traven II
    February 3, 2013

    I know I’m pretty much alone in this opinion but I still have a gut feeling that come Oscar night we might here the following:

    And the Oscars for Best …

    - Sound Mixing
    - Original Score
    - Film Editing
    - Costume Design
    - Cinematography
    - Production Design
    - Adapted Screenplay
    - Supporting Actress
    - Supporting Actor
    - Actor
    - Director
    - Picture

    … go to Lincoln.

    Anyway, one thing is for sure, the Academy can’t be so vicious to give Spielberg’s film the most nominations this time around, just to embarrass him once again by not giving the final statuette of the night.

  254. KT
    February 3, 2013

    Yeah, that’s why as funny as it would be to see the Academy’s/Hollywood’s “Best Picture” only win the top award (1/7), that’s not going to happen. Should pick up editing and screenplay. But watch for the editing award early in the night…if that goes to another film, ZDT or a Silver Linings shocker (which really is a well-edited film), shit is going down. Everyone there will be a nervous wreck.

  255. Dennis Bee
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, I’m not quite following the argument of your article. I can see where the murk, and the rise and fall (and rise?) of ZERO DARK THIRTY could have benefited ARGO. But how do you know that “the same folks, not too surprisingly, who were behind Crash’s victory against Brokeback” are behind ARGO’s success with the guilds? (And who are those “folks” anyway, besides homophobes who sent back their DVDs of BROKEBACK unopened?) BROKEBACK, of course, won the PGA and the DGA while losing the SAGs.

    I happened to see ZD30 a second time today. The thread, which seemed disjointed the first time, was clearer this time. The film does suggest that torture leads to the capture of bin Laden. I believe that this is what Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow discovered in their research, but the politics of the finding is fraught; thus, the apoplexy by senators and knee-jerk types like Martin Sheen.

    The irony is that the film may have suffered in the nominations because of the extra-early calendar. Had the deadline been even two weeks later, the film might have had some time to recover, and the Academy might have rallied around it, as it did with JFK (against which THE NEW YORK TIMES published 23 articles attacking it, if you recall).

    Commercially, on the other hand, Sony was either wise or lucky in timing the wide release for Jan. 11. By that date, not only did the controversy raise up the “want-to-see” factor so that many more people have already paid to see ZD30 in theaters than saw the Bigelow-Boal Oscar triumph, THE HURT LOCKER. The backlash was also starting to lash back.

    The other factor that is clear is that ZD30 is, with no fuss, one of the most feminist films ever released by a major studio (or even an indie company). In a sense, ZD30 is a SILENCE OF THE LAMBS for the 2010s. Maya is not, as some have charged, “John Wayne” in the guise of a heroine (David Thomson’s line) or a female doing all the things male heroes in movies do. Maya is indeed a woman in a male-dominated business (like Kathryn Bigelow, whether a “conscious” parallel or not). A remarkable thing about the film is how little we know about Maya. In this, she is similar to male protagonists, say, Woodstein in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, in which all the personal “stuff” is screened out and we see only the work. Maya’s obsession with bin Laden crystallizes the obsession on the part of much of the intelligence community and the public, with getting bin Laden (Obama’s re-election may very well not have happened had OBL still be around on 11-6-11). But her femaleness–Her ordinary girlness, seen through the eyes of a female director–defines much of what she does. In Laurel Ulrich’s now-axiomatic statement, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” a concept reaffirmed when Maya tells Leon Panetta “I’m the motherfucker who found [the compound in Abbottabad].”

    Sorry to digress. My main question, Sasha, is Where is LINCOLN in all this? The industry specialist who told me that while DDL and TLJ are great, the script is stagy and pedestrian. A colleague in my English department–a Civil War specialist!–found it boring. Like you, I would watch LINCOLN every day if I could. While ARGO is a good movie in its way, and does not deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph with CRASH, a third-rate Nixon-vintage TV movie (Whoever in 2005-6 called it “Best Picture for 1971″ nailed it), and was, come to think of it, seemingly in the lead until LINCOLN came along. Perhaps it never lost its lead.

    But let’s see what happens. I suspect that the Academy will not repudiate its Director’s branch and rally behind a film that had its director nominated. Could the special Writers Guild Award for Tony Kushner be a reaction by the powers-that-be of the WGA to all the ARGO love, to award Kushner one way or the other? But the Academy, whose attempts to innovate, beginning really with the move to Sunday night in 1999 (the night of the SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE shocker, as it turned out) and the Jan.-Feb. calendar in 2004, have seemed to turn into second-guessing in recent years (although I think the 10 or so BP roster has been great for the Oscars and for the movies overall, although certainly more in good years like 2010 and 2012 than in weaker years like 2009 and 2011), can ill afford to undermine itself, which is what undercutting the director’s branch this time would amount to, as you say.

    Thanks, as ever, for your great site, which I always enjoy.

  256. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, I’m not quite following the argument of your article. I can see where the murk, and the rise and fall (and rise?) of ZERO DARK THIRTY could have benefited ARGO. But how do you know that “the same folks, not too surprisingly, who were behind Crash’s victory against Brokeback” are behind ARGO’s success with the guilds? (And who are those “folks” anyway, besides homophobes who sent back their DVDs of BROKEBACK unopened?) BROKEBACK, of course, won the PGA and the DGA while losing the SAGs.

    The Oscar strategy team is what I meant by folks. The woman behind it is one of the best in the business.

  257. Evan
    February 3, 2013

    Why did we (re: you) ever think the Directors branch was so powerful? It’s not the biggest branch and it too has had years where it has matched 4/5 or even 3/5 (pre-2009, of course) with Best Picture?

    Ultimately, I’m not so sure that the directors dislike Argo. Maybe Affleck just wasn’t at the top of their ballots. But either way, I don’t think their opinion matters much as to who wins, especially if a film (i.e., Argo) is picking up nominations that it shouldn’t have gotten (the sound nom, for one) which show support in the technical branches.

  258. Akumax
    February 3, 2013

    “I understand what you’re saying and I appreciate it. But at the end of the day it is a site I have fought to have a voice on. It has always been a site where the readers wanted to control the content. Back when there were forums the forums believed they WERE the website. It took a long time for me to separate me, Sasha Stone, from the readers and the forums. If you guys want to go off on Lincoln or any other movie you can go to the forums. For some reason, people want to come and bring a bag of dogshit and drop it on MY doorstep. Of all of the places they can go online to trash Lincoln this is the WRONG PLACE FOR THAT. It’s a movie I love very much. It’s a movie I’ve been writing about and championing for the better part of a year. Yes, I’ve personalized it like I personalized Hugo, The Hurt Locker, The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Moulin Rouge, Crouching Tiger, Brokeback Mountain. If anyone had come on my site and called Brokeback Mountain boring after it lost the Oscar? You should have seen what a royal cunt I was back then: I was protective of Ang Lee and still am. When readers come here JUST to say “Lincoln was boring” they are doing it to troll, to get attention, to get me mad and I can only play MEAN MOMMY for so long. I am tired of it. As I keep saying, I hate to lose the readership of a devoted reader but if that is the price I pay, I’m willing to pay it. Sorry – that’s just me.”

    Reading this I better understood your point of view, I misunderstood it before, sorry. I’ve never been to awards daily forums, I didn’t notice there was a forum, I just read your posts and the comments.

  259. Daveylow
    February 3, 2013

    If Haneke gets the Oscar for director I will be a bit upset when they denied Bergman, Kurosawa, and Truffaut, all grander foreign directors in my opinion. And will they award two foreign directors in a row? Really, why should I care?

  260. alan of montreal
    February 3, 2013

    “The trick is not minding”

  261. Daveylow
    February 3, 2013

    Argo is not going to win sound awards or score. It can win Picture and Editing and possibly screenplay at that is all. Let’s see how the editing guild goes.

  262. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    “The trick is not minding”

    No one seems to understand what I mean by that. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get. Saying the trick is not minding means you try not to act like it hurts when someone holds a flame under your hand. You fail, of course, unless you’re G. Gordon Liddy.

  263. February 3, 2013

    Just to give my two cents about Lincoln vs. Argo vs. everything else this year.

    Lincoln is a very well made film, one of the best of the year in my humble opinion. #9 on my top ten. I knew the moment I saw it, there were going to be many out there who didn’t like it. The same way I knew there would be individuals who wouldn’t like Les Miserables, my #1 film of the year.

    While every movie-goer is passionate and vocal about which film they want to win, it’s hard to argue against technical achievements in certain films. For example, I have huge problems with the screenplay of “Life of Pi.” A little jumbled, not cohesive, and has a lot hiccups in the middle. Technically, the film is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in years. Miranda should and will likely win Cinematography. I can appreciate and respect the film, especially Ang Lee for his position and attempt in adapting the “unfilmable” book.

    I feel you have to say the same thing about Lincoln. Whether it’s the way the history is presented, unfolded, or the seemingly never ending stories that Lincoln tells that turns you off, look at Spielberg, Kaminski, and Day-Lewis’ approach to bringing the audience in with focus, imagery, and presence. You gotta give them kudos for that at the very least.

    Nathaniel Rogers said on the Film Experience how Les Miserables (in particular musicals) are the only the genre you can walk in and say “I HATE MUSICALS” yet you have to review or watch one. The film already starts at a disadvantage. I believe that applies to other genres and pieces. If you don’t like historically based films, Lincoln is at a disadvantage. If you don’t like explosions and special effects, Skyfall may not be your thing. If you don’t like British period pieces then Anna Karenina will seem like torture.

    I respect Sasha for sticking to her guns with Lincoln. I also respect the individuals that thought Lincoln was like counting cotton balls for two and a half hours. I just think everyone needs to take a step back and evaluate which films do it for you and understand why someone else would feel it doesn’t do it for them.

    Off topic, it’s so sad that Zero Dark Thirty has crashed and burned the way it has. If it was a year of five, ZDT wouldn’t have been there. I’m sure of that. Pitty.

    That’s the power of “consensus” I guess?

    Clayton Davis
    The Awards Circuit

  264. daveinprogress
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, hang in there. Ride the turbulence and emerge having advocated the beauty and value of many great movies this season. For every troll, there is a movie lover who wants to broaden their experience not blindside it. You’ve given me heaps to contemplate these past few years. Onwards and Upwards.

  265. February 3, 2013

    Daveylow,

    For all this, hHaneke won´t win.

    It´s among Lee and Spielberg.
    I hope Lee wins.

  266. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    By the way, that’s Clayton saying “come on over to Awards Circuit where we tolerate other people’s opinions.” I really hate the whole “I knew people would hate Lincoln” thing. It’s not rocket science to figure out how hard of a sell that would be. What’s surprising about it is, despite that, it made $170 million and landed at number 5 on the top ten lists of all of the critics. Box office acclaim + critical acclaim used to equal Oscar wins. But in this era, where the least offensive underdog takes the whole race movies like that don’t win anymore. I think an Academy Award should represent not a sudden burst of emotion or checking off the “like” button on Facebook but it should mean something more. But by all means if you want someone who doesn’t take a side head on over to Awards Circuit. Clayton, do you want to just put an ad on your avatar to make it easier? :-)

  267. JKou
    February 3, 2013

    When they want to reward The Hurt Locker, a film not loved by everyone (I think is good but overhyped, contrary to Zero Dark Thirty that is really great), the Academy is good because they went with the underdog not the big money maker: Avatar. But when they don’t want to reward the big money marker: Lincoln, they are bad because they want to go with the underdog: Argo.

    Well, you see Sasha, is not a thing of logic, is just that there are different taste in everyone’s mind. I like you loved Shakespeare in Love, well beyond over Saving Private, but I understand that there are thousands that love the other movie better, and not because they are not smart to realize that SIL screenplay was great, just because we don’t think in the same way, such is life, we need to realize that different opinions make us humans and free, so don’t blame Argo, Affleck or fear for Lincoln loses, if someone is rude banned them but don’t get mad when someone just don’t have your “own personal” taste

  268. February 3, 2013

    I say, among Lee, Spielberg AND Russell, who, I hope, won´t win.

  269. Hal
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha

    I hate when people trash movies, you can criticize objectively without insulting anyone. Sometimes when people insult a movie that I love it feels like they’re insulting me – the law of transitive property – so I know how you feel.

    I very much agree with you on
    The Hurt Locker
    The Departed
    No Country for Old Men
    Moulin Rouge
    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    Brokeback Mountain
    Hugo, I haven’t seen yet

    Just try to be patient with readers. I’m sure most of them mean well. After all they’re your fans/readers.

    Time to go to work

  270. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    Thanks Hal but I have seen some pretty bad stuff on this site this year though it was much worse last year. I don’t need people to agree with me — it would be nice of course — but it isn’t just them insulting a movie – it’s them trashing a movie on this site. I don’t run that kind of a website or I try not to.

  271. Astarisborn
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha, you are the bravest person here. I bow to your convictions.
    Let this race be united in ones opinions.

  272. Free
    February 3, 2013

    “As it is, I think I’ll have to bet that if Argo wins BP, Michael Haneke will win Director, Actress and Screenplay for Amour.”

    -Um, that’s a bit of a tall order, and I’m just talking about it winning ONE of those. Oddly enough, though, I think Haneke could pull off a director upset. I mean, who the hell else is going to win, assuming Affleck isn’t a write-in winner?

    I also feel like you’re undermining Argo’s quality when you say that voters gravitate towards it because it was the counter-0D30. Could it simply be that it’s just the better film? I loved the shit out of Hurt Locker, personally, and 0D30 was my most anticipated of the year, and it just didn’t knock it out of the park for me. To each their own and all that jazz, but I think the only thing that might have split Argo and Zero Dark Thirty was Film Editing. Nothing else.

    “Anyway, one thing is for sure, the Academy can’t be so vicious to give Spielberg’s film the most nominations this time around, just to embarrass him once again by not giving the final statuette of the night.”

    - Like they did in ’86 for Color Purple? Day-Lewis won’t lose, though, so that’s not happening, and Jones will prob win, but I’m thinking Lincoln goes 2-for-12.

  273. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    If argo wins and they’re going to shut out lincoln, at least do it right.
    Go for Ang Lee in directing, phoenix for actor (OMG! if this were to happen), Hoffman for Supp. Actor, Riva for Actress, haneke for original and please… Lincoln for screenplay…

    if all this happened, I would live through the night happy. But this ain’t happening so…

  274. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    @Antoinette, @CB and @Bryce

    I would like to echo the chorus in favor of Cloud Atlas. One of the truly best movies of the year (second only to The Master and followed by Lincoln/Amour).

    I guess we’ll just have to wait a couple of decades for it to be declared genius.

    Oh well… that’s our cross to bear…

  275. Yvette
    February 3, 2013

    Sasha said:
    ‘It’s boring to lazy minded people. Period.’

    Nuff said. I have yet to read a cohesive criticism of this film beyond ‘boring’ and ‘predictable biopic’ and ‘typical Spielberg’ …
    Lincoln is not a biopic and it’s not ‘typical Spielberg’. And if you use those words and phrases, you just should stupid and pretentious.
    When people make these half-assed claims or when they spend an entire paragraph essentially saying the same thing over and over – it tells me that they didn’t get the film’s nuances or detailed subtleties. And they continue to be offended when some of us suggest maybe they’re just not paying attention or are too ADD to appreciate it. Well, it is what it is, and you’re still not getting it. May I suggest Lincoln detractors stop trying to sound sophisticated discussing your ‘problems with Lincoln’
    Maybe you are the problem.
    Thanks again Sasha for not mincing words – because I think those of us who are passionate about Lincoln secretly think it’s detractors are just too dense.

  276. February 3, 2013

    It’s always a goddamned mutiny. If you want to trash Lincoln, go somewhere else. That’s the last thing I’m going to say about it. Since people only want to trash the movie because I love it,

    Well now I understand why you get so upset although I wouldn’t have guessed it otherwise. I never thought anyone was criticizing LINCOLN or any of your other favorite films over the years to indirectly attack you. I never thought that anyone who ran a film website would consider those who disagree as mutineers. I didn’t know we were supposed to all be on the same side in the first place. I just thought we were all had individual opinions. I didn’t think we were supposed to be on teams or sides. I really believe most of the people here who have commented against LINCOLN have been thinking about the film not trying to upset you. I understand now why you take it personally, but I never saw any of it as personal. Name-calling and person attacks are personal. But saying a particular film isn’t good, or even outright attacking a film, doesn’t say anything about its fans, imo.

    I really didn’t understand why you’d get so offended all this time. Now I know.

  277. steve50
    February 3, 2013

    “I would like to echo the chorus in favor of Cloud Atlas.”

    And the echo continues here. Cloud Atlas will outlast at least 3 of the 9 BP nominees this year in terms of lasting popularity and respect.

    I’m not going to say which 3 because enough bad things have been said about movies today. Being away all day and just signing in now, this thread looks like battleground.

  278. Sasha Stone
    February 3, 2013

    No Antoinette, you have it wrong. As usual. A mutiny means readers who don’t follow the rules, who want to run the site and have it run the way they would like it to be run. And that never settles well with me. The control freak that I am and all of that.

    I really believe most of the people here who have commented against LINCOLN have been thinking about the film not trying to upset you

    Yeah? You should try being me on Twitter for just one day. There are other bloggers who actively waiting for Lincoln to fail just so that they say I TOLD YOU SO. There are people who will say they hate the film (who haven’t even seen it) just to pick at me. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have you recognize it. But I do appreciate your passive/aggressive comment (not).

    I didn’t know we were supposed to all be on the same side in the first place.

    Obviously we’re not. I don’t dictate the films people love. But I won’t stand for a tsunami of Lincoln hate, particularly since the film isn’t winning anything. Now that Argo is the frontrunner shouldn’t people start hating it?

  279. JP
    February 3, 2013

    I also have huge problems with Life of Pi. Whenever I write here, i always try not to talk about it because it’s not exactly my cup of tea. Just like Les Mis looks not the cup of tea of Sasha and Ryan and that is one of the many things I really applaud this site for this year: for never trashing this film. When a kind of film is not our cup of tea, I think the best we can do is really not talk a lot about it. If you hate musicals, don’t trash Les Mis. If you hate historical epics (at least the ones that focus more on dialogues and politics) than battles and love stories, don’t trash Lincoln.

    I don’t have a problem with this site backing a certain film. Most of the times they were not my choices and I keep reading things here over and over… sometimes I truly disagreed. As far as I remember The Aviator, a film I truly dislike, and Ben Button, a good film but really not among Fincher’s best were the championed here but I still come to this site. Disagreeing is one thing but at least I think there’s coherence here. There are no predictions and analyses made two days before an awards announcement that go against everything that was written all over. At least there are many great analyses, what I miss from Goldderby, which seems to be turning into the awards Las Vegas, with much more focus on odds than analyses despite the fact that Tom O’Neil writes so well and is always great to hear his analysis. If the editors believe one film/actor deserves, I never saw any problem of them championing it.

    ______________

    Directing: Spielberg won’t loose. O. Russell definitely doesn’t deserve. SLP is a good pleasant film but kind of a lightweight. The Little Miss Sunshine backed by Harvey Weinstein. He has a very high merit of showing that BC can act really well but as a whole there are obviously tougher and more remarkable achievements there. Zeitlin’s reward is the nom. He can have a brilliant career… the man could make a film much more visually sunning than films that cost 150 times more. I’m not really a fan of Pi. Haneke… well… I think Amour is great but the merits of the film came much more from the script, which I have no problems in winning, than the directing itself. I think Amour’s directing is not really that tough. You have an apartment. Just an apartment. Basically two brilliant old actors that have an enormous and successful body of work. Is the directing really that risky? Does it play such a prominent role in that film? That leaves Spielberg, who directed a film that unites the perfection that we always see in his productions (stunning visuals) with amazing acting and great dialogues. I think it’s his number 3.

  280. moviewatcher
    February 3, 2013

    JP: Yeah, that is one thing that I find is lacking in Goldderby (which otherwise is a great site): personal input. We always get to hear Tom’s choices and he roots for them and usually picks interesting stuff like Life of Pi and Beasts this year. But in their chats they really only talk about awards and none of them ever goes: Sigh… I wish so and so had gotten nominated. He/she was so much better than these guys. I like those sighs. They make me feel like their involved.

    But then again, Matt, Chris and Daniel (the other pundits at goldderby) all said that either Moonrise Kingdom or Argo was their favorite 2012 movie so… maybe I don’t want to hear much of their opinions… Maybe I AM ok with just Tom.

    What a conundrum.

  281. Paul
    February 3, 2013

    I will tackle these one at a time for the sake of clarity

    1) Marie, I appreciate your comment, and agree that calling a film boring is not legitimate criticism but only did so for the sake of brevity. Further, I find your articulation of the themes and ideas in Lincoln to be far more fleshed out than what Sasha typically has written on the subject (to be fair to her, her posts aren’t meant primarily as film criticism). That being said, I thought the majority of these themes were made too literal and brought out in a way that was not particularly subtle within the film. I do not think that Lincoln leaves any room for intellectual investigation, unlike say ZDT. It is nearly impossible to come out of Lincoln not thinking the means had justified the ends. Caro’s excellent book ‘Master of the Senate’ explored many of these same issues with much greater nuance and allowed the reader to come to their own conclusions. Of course one cannot be weighed against the other (Lincoln is it’s own thing), but I only bring it up to show that there are works that explored the very same themes in a much more effective manner. Moreover, one of my favorite movies of the year, Amour, is, (like Lincoln), a movie that could be accused of being ‘slow’, but I never found myself bored. Haneke’s shot construction and editing choices create a sense of tensions throughout. There was no greater disparity to me, then the difference between the awesome nightmare sequence in Amour as opposed to the strange and hokey dream sequences in Lincoln. So while I agree boring is not valid criticism, it is a word I can use to sum up my feelings.

    2) As for my particular critiques of what I disliked about Lincoln, I would simply say that everything felt presented in a way I found too static and staged (admittedly, this comes down to personal preference). The civil war battle that opened the movie was done no better than your average re-enactment. This does not mean I was expecting or want an action packed movie (far from it), but since that scene was included, it’s fair to say it was poorly shot. I also found the majority of the dialogue scenes relied too heavily on DDL’s performance to do the heavy lifting (he’s a great actor, no denying that). I couldn’t help but laugh at how many times they went back to the well on “Lincoln tells another story”. Moreover, the “villains” in the story were presented in a manner that was outright cartoony (to be clear, I completely identify with the liberal ideology of the movie, and thats what makes it worse – when the ideology you believe in is presented in such a unsubtle and obnoxious way you can’t help but crave someone to play devil’s advocate, there’s a problem). Everything to do with Lincoln’s family life, in my opinion, was a complete failure (save for the scenes of DDL with his younger son – those I found to be among his best moments, you really felt the warmth and love for his boy. He completely disappeared in the character in those moments).

    3) The Social Network has often been invoked in these forum as an analogue to Lincoln. I could not disagree more. Both are dense and talky scripts, but where TSN derives power from it’s dialogue, it’s everything else that elevates the material (notably, propulsive score, electric editing, crisp cinematography, and brilliant scene construction – the Victoria Secret club scene leading to the Henley Race as one example). Lincoln took a dense script and made it in as stale and slow a manner as possible. I reject the idea that these two films have anything in common.

    4) Sasha, you say above that only lazy minded people find Lincoln boring. Again, you insult your readers simply because they disagree with your opinion. We seem to have similar tastes from year to year (and in fact for the majority of this year), but this one disagreement makes me lazy minded? Among my favorite movies of the year: Holy Motors, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Amour. Someone above said naming other movies you liked was not valid in assessing Lincoln (this is true), but it is valid in defending the idea that you are lazy minded. None of those movies were easy to process, and I reject the notion that I’m lazy minded for not taking to Lincoln.

    5) On that note, the most bullshit argument around the time of The Master’s release was that you had to see it twice to “get” it. No movie should “have” to be seen twice to be truly appreciated, unless the narrative confusion is so dense that you can’t fully process it after one viewing (Mulholland Drive). I admit I only saw Lincoln once, but I should want to see it a second time, not have to see it a second time. Enjoyment of a movie on a gut level is incredibly important to me in terms of how I react to them. So while I’m open to the argument that I’d appreciate Lincoln more the second time, it’s unfair to say I missed the point or need you to explain it to me to like it. Again, I don’t think this was a complex movie.

    6) Finally, though I said I preferred Argo, I actually don’t think the two are worlds apart, or that either is the best movie of the year. Argo, to me, was a B or B+, while Lincoln was a B- or C+ (redeeming features: DDL, TLJ, and a script that, despite its weaknesses, still had some very strong moments). That being said, for those who say Argo fell apart in a mess of contrivances at the end (I tend to agree), isn’t it fair to say that Lincoln did the same in generating tension as to whether the Bill wouldn’t pass on time? I could be wrong, I read TOR a few years ago, but I do not think it happened exactly like this. Moreover, as between the two films, the opening scene in Argo was, to me, the best thing in either movie by far. The disparity between Argo and “best film of the year” is much narrower than the gap between Lincoln and “masterpiece”, in my opinion.

    Sasha, we can all appreciate your enthusiasm for movies, and obviously you’re one of the best in the business at covering the awards game. I just think it gets a little tough to swallow when you’re counterarguments devolve to “if you don’t like it you’re too stupid to get it”. I’m willing to admit that I may not be right on all these points and furthermore, I try to repeat throughout that all this is only my opinion. I would (and probably some of us who try to be articulate in our thoughts via-Lincoln) simply appreciate if I my intellect wasn’t personally attacked for disagreeing with your opinion.

  282. Paul
    February 3, 2013

    And just to prove I’m not trying to troll, here is our breakdown of the movies you mentioned above as championing:

    Hugo (my favorite movie of the year last year was Drive, but you’ll get no strong arguments from me on this one)
    The Hurt Locker (at the time, yes. in retrospect, I think inglorious basterds has aged better and was the best film of that year)
    The Departed (agreed totally)
    No Country for Old Men (strong disagree, but only because I think there will be blood is one of the best movies ever. No country and zodiac are also amazing though, so it’s not like I’d come here to bash no country, only to argue for my twbb is so fantastic)
    Moulin Rouge (I’ve only seen this once and admittedly I was probably too young. No opinion either way)
    Crouching Tiger (yes, totally agree)
    Brokeback Mountain (agree one-thousand percent)

  283. Yvette
    February 3, 2013

    Paul,
    You do realize that Spielberg and Kushner were working within the margins of historical context? I mean you do realize that Lincoln was a real person who often drove people
    crazy with is storytelling? Who often went out to battlefields to speak with troops.. You do realize that the ‘end-justifying-the-means’ is not what this film is really about. Rather, that a man was willing to risk it all to do the right, moral thing. I mean, are you suggesting that Spielberg make up shit to be ‘edgy’?
    The film is based on Abraham Lincoln’s political fight to get slavery abolished. Not sure exactly what you would have done as a director to film that. Because you must be a genius since no one has done it. Sometimes it seems some of you spend too much time reading film commentary to the point where it all becomes academic and abstract.
    I mean, history is what it is- it seems your criticizing a moment in history for not being exciting enough and blame Spielberg.
    Would you have preferred Lincoln if he slayed vampires? Was a closet KKK grand dragon? You say it was predictable…
    You mean in the sense that Lincoln was a great American and did something transformational? And the film rightly demonstrates why. Is that too ‘corny’ and ‘manipulative’ for you?
    How and why would have to you make an irreverent or ironic film about Lincoln? I really want to know. I bet you’re in your 20s, maybe early 30s. Your argument-against is a non-argument. You just don’t get it.

  284. Zooey
    February 4, 2013

    @ Sasha,

    you can run it the way you like – yes, but insulting people, calling them “assholes” etc isn’t acceptable because it’s not an opinion. It’s an insult and therefore a crime. And what follows now is an opinion, my opinion: DEAL WITH YOUR ISSUES! TO INSULT PEOPLE ISN’T THE WAY TO PROVE YOU ARE RIGHT! Because you are just as right as anybody else. I have an opinion and I am just as educated and have just as much insight into filmmaking etc. I’m just much younger than you, which doesn’t make you right and me wrong. When people disagree with you, they disagree with you. Insulting people won’t make them change their mind. Diversity is something to be celebrated. We’re not in the Soviet Union.

  285. Fuck Sasha
    February 4, 2013

    Fuck you and this site. I used to check it daily, but I can’t take this Lincoln crusade and holier than thou attitude. LINCOLN IS BORING, BITCH! GO FUCK YOURSELF.

  286. Ben Fan
    February 4, 2013

    “Fuck you and this site. I used to check it daily, but I can’t take this Lincoln crusade and holier than thou attitude. LINCOLN IS BORING, BITCH! GO FUCK YOURSELF.”

    This is sad.

  287. February 4, 2013

    Oh, and by the way, at the Awards Circuit we stress: “It’s not about who we want to win, it’s about who will win.” – The old Oscar Igloo mentality.

    I take sides in my own pieces and people know my position. I root for Les Miserables and know that people, including yourself Sasha, pummeled it out there. The same way people are pummeling Lincoln. I just don’t attack them when they come onto Awards Circuit and say how much they hated it. Just not my thing.

    I still respect you lots Sasha. Awards Circuit exists because of you starting this nearly 14 years ago. I recognize that.

    It’s not “US vs. THEM”

    We all love the movies! Let’s celebrate them! Call me a hippie.

  288. Paul
    February 4, 2013

    Yvette,

    Please read my earlier comments. I find the subject matter inherently interesting but find the way it was brought to life to be uninteresting. I didn’t say the film was about the means justifying the ends, but that it would be impossible not to come to that conclusions given how the story is presented (unlike zd30). Further, simply because abraham lincoln told stories it doesnt means the way it was used was effective. Also, I already admitted earlier I am in my twenties but am secure enough in my knowledge of film and history to wager that my opinions are far better researched and justified than yours. You rely on personal attack and making claims that are in direct tension with the statements I made earlier to form your argument. That is not a coherent way to create dialogue or discussion.

  289. Sammy
    February 4, 2013

    I like the idea AMOUR wins;

    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Actress
    Best Screenplay

    This would be the ideal and well deserved result of the Oscar night.

  290. February 4, 2013

    We just gotta keep reminding ourselves that Argo is actually a quality movie and be happy about that. There is no gross injustice here, a good quality film that’s entertaining from start to finish, tells a powerful and true story in an entertaining way, is on its way to win the Best Picture (most likely).

  291. Sasha Stone
    February 4, 2013

    We just gotta keep reminding ourselves that Argo is actually a quality movie and be happy about that. There is no gross injustice here, a good quality film that’s entertaining from start to finish, tells a powerful and true story in an entertaining way, is on its way to win the Best Picture (most likely).

    Very true Nik! It is not an embarrassment. But then again, neither was Chariots of Fire or Driving Miss Daisy. History simply remembers them that way but when they were up for Oscar they were very very popular. Everyone knows how much I loved Argo. It’s definitely in my top ten — so it’s no crime. The crime for me is breaking that Picture/Director precedent. It’s not really a stat I want to see broken.

  292. Matt Zucker
    February 4, 2013

    Sasha, as a longtime follower of this website, I’m saddened to see how relentlessly defeatist your attitude has become whenever your favorite doesn’t turn out to be the Academy’s favorite. The occasional opinion piece would be okay, but it seems like at least once a week, there’s a long article here on how Lincoln is being unfairly overlooked by the precursor awards and it just doesn’t make good reading, nor does it provide any insight into the season.

    I agree that Lincoln is great – it just so happens that this is a year of many great films, among them, yes, Argo, so you seem to take these things to heart way too much. After all, isn’t it nearly every year that one’s personal favorite – the one that is so obviously superior to the others in one’s subjective opinion – does not win anything? It happens all the time, as you well know. Despite what you keep saying, it does seem sometimes by the way you write that you do look to the awards season to validate your tastes. Try to not mind, as your website’s motto says. You win some, you lose some. The last time I saw my favorite film of the year go on to win Best Picture was Lord of the Rings, and before that American Beauty. That has been a while. Last year, my three favorites didn’t even get nominated (Melancholia, Drive, A Separation). But this year, my favorite, which is Argo, now seems poised to take it, which is nice but rare. And I’m frankly still not convinced that will happen, so just wait and see what happens on Feb 24… Lincoln may still win. And if not, maybe your favorite next year will win.

    It’s a game, as you like to point out. And there’s no accounting for taste. I for one would appreciate it if the site could go back to reporting/blogging about the awards race without these overly partial articles which create and reinforce the very David vs. Goliath narratives you bemoan.

  293. Sasha Stone
    February 4, 2013

    It’s a game, as you like to point out. And there’s no accounting for taste. I for one would appreciate it if the site could go back to reporting/blogging about the awards race without these overly partial articles which create and reinforce the very David vs. Goliath narratives you bemoan.

    Dear Matt — I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t really tailor Awards Daily to any one person’s needs, however. Since it is my site, run and owned by me I choose to create content that intrigues me. I have never just reported on the race. I take a specific side. I have done this in order to distinguish myself from the plethora of other Oscar sites out there. I think of myself as someone like Rachel Maddow not someone like Pete Hammond of Dave Karger. I take a point of view, I point out injustices, I try to give an overreaching picture of how I see the Oscar race. I have been doing it now for almost 15 years and to tell you the truth I’m just about ready to pack it in. Although you may wish Awards Daily was a different site it is probably not going to change. I can suggest many other blogs out there and sites you can read — for instance, read Anne Thompson over at Indiewire. Kris Tapley at In Contention. Melena Ryzick at the NY Times and Tom O’Neil at Gold Derby. These are all Oscar bloggers who do not advocate, do not take a specific side. I strongly recommend you shift your attention away from Awards Daily and over to one of those sites. Waiting for me to morph into one of those? Ain’t going to happen any time soon.

  294. Spacey
    February 4, 2013

    I appreciate that the site takes such a strong stance on films in the running for Oscars, but then I have the comfort of being in agreement most years (Hugo, The Social Network, Brokeback) so it makes it enjoyable. Although enjoyable is not the right word to use when looking back on the Brokeback year. Nothing will ever hurt as much. At least I hope it wont.

  295. Ruth
    February 4, 2013

    I still think the Best Picture race is open.

    In saying that, Argo is just such a logical and crowdpleasing winner. It ticks all the boxes. It may not necessarily be the best one, but if it wins on oscar night, barely anyone will complain. It’s not like we have to sit through another night where Crash, The Artist or Slumdog takes the prize. Argo will be the best winner since No Country.

    I really dont mind who wins this year. Last year it was The Artist, with films like The Descendents offering the most competition (Ugh!). I generally like all the contenders this year, so no issue with the overall winner. I just feel that Argo is the safest, most popular choice, and also fits in well with the last several winners.

    I saw Argo 4 months ago, and just left the film with an overwhelming feeling that this was the Best Picture winner. Sometimes you just know, regardless of buzz.

  296. Doddi Jonsson
    February 5, 2013

    “Zero Dark Thirty is still the better film” … nope, that’s not true. Argo is better, Lincoln is better, Django Unchained is better, Silver Linings Playbook is better … my opinion, yes.

    However, I really dislike foul language on a site like this and calling Sasha (or anyone else for that matter) really offensive names does not do anyone good.

    I love films, I’m a “subscriber” to awardsdaily posts and I love this site … I reckon Sasha, Ryan and others have different opinion than me on many occasions but I love the ability to come here and debate about it. Who am I anyway? Just a film enthusiast from Iceland, but one who has a very valid opinion like most of the comments and commenters here :)

    Film love and respect :-)

  297. Sammy
    February 5, 2013

    Argo is not only missing the crucial Best Director nomination, it does not have a cinematography nod either. In the last five years all the BP winners had the cinematography nomination.

  298. February 5, 2013

    For all the people dissing Sasha for supporting Lincoln- she could care less if you don’t support it for a Best Picture winner, but she does get ticked off if you blatantly attack her for the hell of being a troll. Plenty of people have given balanced arguments discussing why Lincoln could end up losing Oscar night to Argo- and Sasha has not done anything but give her opinion back in adult mature fashion. But for the idiots who just say “it’s boring, fuck you!” – yeah you’ll get what’s coming to you. I have the same issue with my JasonMovieGuy site with bloggers constantly dissing me for the sake of being an ass. They get deleted- and if Sasha wants to delete you, she can do just that. It’s her turf- been her turf for 14 years. She really ought to change her slogan to “Get off my Lawn!” Rock on Sasha, the haters can all take a back seat on the Argo bus.

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