As the race for Oscar comes down to the wire it looks as if “Argo” is going to walk away with Best Picture honors. The Iran hostage drama, based on a true story by the CIA operative who was involved, has won just about every other honor leading up to Hollywood’s big night.
Ben Affleck, who starred in and directed the film, was named Best Director by the Directors Guild of America. Interestingly enough, Affleck did not get an Oscar nomination as director. The picture also won the Golden Globe for Best Drama and Affleck has been honored by the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for Best Director and the Producers Guild Award.
Rarely does the DGA winner not get the same honor at the Oscars but it has happened. For instance when “Driving Miss Daisy” director Bruce Beresford didn’t get nominated, one of the presenters on the Oscar’s telecast commented “Driving Miss Daisy, the picture which apparently drove itself.” Laughs and cheers were heard audience wide.
So “Argo” is the front runner and Affleck is snubbed but he wasn’t the only snub. Sasha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of the conniving innkeeper in “Les Miserables” was pure gold and his singing was just about the best of the cast, if you ignore the choruses. We are all thankful Russell Crowe took the money his mother gave him for singing lessons and spent them on acting lessons. All the actors were strong as actors but none of them carried much of a tune.
Even Hugh Jackman, who is an outstanding singer as evidenced on Broadway, couldn’t do much with the material which is outdated and poorly laid out in this film. Jackman received an Oscar nod by default as the only actor everyone knew could sing this material and even he struggled through it. Still Cohen, who has come along way since “Borat” and Ali G, should have gotten some consideration. Helena Bonham Carter, Cohen’s side kick at the Inn, was equally as impressive.
While Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was an early favorite its star has faded but the films major star has risen beyond new heights. Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln is one of the most incredible performances on film in recent years and is only rivaled by Day-Lewis’ own Oscar winning performance as Christy Brown in “My Left Foot.” The previous role was a cinematic masterpiece and his portrayal of the 16th American president is equal to it except for the physical stress the actor had to endure for the previous role.
“Les Mis” as many call it will probably do poorly at the Oscar’s much as the “Color Purple” did despite nominations in double digits. The story is powerful but no matter how you slice it, getting beyond the poor singing of the music and the length (2 hours 37 minutes) is almost impossible. It might win for set design but is up against “Lincoln” here as well as in Costuming. The end of the film is powerful and almost pulls it out but not quite. Maybe if they had gotten to the end sooner it might resonate differently.
“Argo” will be the big winner as will Day-Lewis and somewhere along the way expect something from “Silver Linings Playbook.” Will “Zero Dark 30” sneak its way in? Despite the controversy it may but don’t look for anything to overcome the positive story and the back story of “Argo.”
Charlie Peyton is an avid fan of TV shows and loves to share his thoughts on leading sites around the web including ExpertSatellite.com
- Ben Affleck wins the DGA Award, proving once and for all ‘Argo’ didn’t direct itself? (timesunion.com)
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