Argo Backlash Ignites

Last night I tried to rally the anti-Argo crowd by suggesting a way to stop Argo from winning the Best Picture Oscar. My suggestion was mocked, spat upon. But at least it was honest and constructive, which is more than you can say for the current backlash sentiment, which is basically nihilist and defeatist. If people had any backbone or brains or balls they would vote for Zero Dark Thirty…but of course they don’t and they won’t.

18 thoughts on “Argo Backlash Ignites

  1. The movie is basically forgettable studio crap. Can’t remember who said it here, but it will win cause it’s about “Hollywood saving the world.” The movie is competently directed, but the script is just awful, and if you start with garbage, you’re gonna get garbage.

    Zero Dark Thirty was miles better, but it still wasn’t very good.

  2. “Last night I tried to rally the anti-Argo crowd by suggesting a way to stop Argo from winning the Best Picture Oscar. My suggestion was mocked, spat upon. But at least it was honest and constructive, which is more than you can say for the current backlash sentiment, which is basically nihilist and defeatist.”

    Read that sentence out loud, and ask yourself if it really makes any sense. There is nothing “honest and constructive” about trying to stop a movie from winning silly awards.

    Oh, and if Argo wins, it’s FAR from being the most baffling BP recipient of the past 10 years. It’s much better than The Artist or The King’s Speech, let alone Crash. It’s AT LEAST on the level of something like Slumdog Millionaire.

    @Thunder: so what was your favorite movie of the year? Or should I say, “least hated?”

  3. Hmmm, interesting. I’m curious, though — what exactly did you like about Cosmopolis? I think it was kind of unfair that the critics shrugged it off the way they did, but — at the same time — I’m not sure DeLillo’s source material is nearly as clever as it thinks it is.

    In other words — if Argo is competently-directed garbage, then Cosmopolis is well-written garbage. Also: nothing really HAPPENS, which is kinda boring — wasn’t that one of your main beefs with latter-era Tarantino??

  4. I hope Argo wins, quite simply to shut up the whiners who are trying to equate it to genuine crap like Crash and A Beautiful Mind because their personal favourites aren’t being validated by a bunch of strangers.

    I hate the Oscars, think they are a waste of time, but I hate people who get too invested in the Oscars even more, so I’m going to suck it up and actually try to care about an award this year – Team Argo all the way.

    If it does lose, though, I won’t cry about it or have a Twit-fit. Because deep down, it does not matter in the slightest.

  5. Win or lose (and it’s almost certainly gonna win), Argo’ll be remembered as a very good thriller. It’s a 3 Days of the Condor deal, well-shot, brisk, good atmosphere…I think the period details and no-bullshit stylings were Argo’s biggest strengths.

    But Jeff’s right about its lacking a thematic undercurrent, something worth discussing. A lot of best picture winners (like Crash) go too far with the thematics and turn into an overblown cheese-fest. If anything, Argo’s a pretty weird choice because it’s such a throwback to 70′s style Parallax View-types that weren’t really awards magnets at all. The Departed had that classic reversed roles deal and killer character work from DiCaprio and Damon, so the plotting was heightened by the performances. And No Country had the widescreen poetic vibes and the genuine sadness of time gone by with TLJ. Everything good about Argo exists right there in the forefront. I’m glad it’s a box office hit but ZD30 (and even Skyfall and Flight) were the more interesting thriller/dramas.

  6. Was Flight really that interesting, though? I feel like almost all the good things about it came from Denzel’s undeniably aces perf, and the kick we as an audience get from not normally seeing “serious professionals” behave haphazardly/recklessly onscreen.

    I wouldn’t say it’s a “bad” film by any means, but it is one that seems to me to get significantly less interesting as it progresses.

  7. I should have thrown in an IMO because I responded to Flight better than the consensus. The whole “let’s follow a character on their journey down” when laced with the insane plane sequence gave Flight a bizarre hybrid that’s damn rare and I dug it. It would be as if Young Adult opened with some Freidkin-style car chase.

    But Flight beats Argo to me because it holds the same professionalism in its style (both scenes with planes come to mind) but Flight had the huge lead performance absolutely owned by Denzel. I like Affleck a lot, more as an actor than most people, but he’s a standard hero, a good guy doing good things. Denzel’s rocking the beer gut and being a total dick for 2 hours. In the context of a tight morality tale, it was great to watch. IMO IMO IMO

  8. I am more and more often picturing Jeff sitting on a movie set like Bela Lugosi in “Glen or Glenda” shouting, “Pull the string!”

  9. Jeff, I’ve been thinking about something that confused me. I saw Argo and also No. Two movies that have the same essence, recreate historical and political facts and deal with real stories that are hard to believe. We could say that movies are twins. But I found No infinitely better, smarter, with better performances, better targeted, more compelling …
    Here comes my question. If you are taking for granted Argo as winner of best film and Amour winner as best foreign film, it would not be fair otherwise? Amour become the winner of best film and No be the winner for best foreign film? I can not understand how a film like No, much better than Argo, for being part of the foreign language movies end up forgotten in this way. I think this would be a balanced and understandable move by the voters.

  10. How is kamikazing your vote to get behind a film that you did not find to be the best of the year honest or constructive?

    All these people talking about a backlash but no quotes or links to some actual backlash. Do a bit of homework and hunt down this supposed backlash instead of just a Twitter search of “Argo” + “backlash”. (Pro tip: any genuine backlash won’t actually be using the word “backlash”.)

  11. “Cosmopolis, and The Turin Horse were my faves of the year, along with Samsara.”

    If one of these films becomes an unlikely cult hit, Duluoz will convince himself the movie is overrated shit.

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