Argo was a great film. Ben Affleck and team have come a long way since I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her On A Meat Hook, and Now I Have A Three-Picture Deal With Disney (1993).
As a filmmaker, it is always a joy to see one who has gone before as they develop their skill and move forward. Argo makes a skilful step in the director’s career.
But best picture?
There is no doubt that the film holds appeal for those who were alive to see the real event. The story is told straight and simple. There’s nothing overtly wrong with the storytelling. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d heard the story before.
It’s because I had. Chances are you have too.
A team in a hostile situation, an out of the box rescue effort, a bit of “you have to trust me if you want to live,” some spunk and perseverance and they’re rescued.
Yep, Apollo 13.
Except Apollo 13 did it first.
Of course this is no attempt to diminish the success of Argo, but to question the validity of the Oscars.
Should an undisclosed group (that is not blocked from receiving any benefits, pay-offs, “sweet-under-the-table-deals”) really command such sway over the financial success of a film?
And not just the financial success, but the perceived critical acclaim.
Did you grow up on the classic films of the past? It’s probably because they were cutting edge, honoured for their work in pioneering the art and science of motion picture.
What did Argo pioneer? What did it push the envelop in? It’s a correct piece of cinematic work. Correct is for film school. Best is for those who take cinema to the next level.
As always, in the US, the keys to justice are in the hands of the consumer. You’re the most influential film critic. You decide what survives and what dies.