Everybody make way for the behemoth known as Argo. When Ben Affleck‘s latest movie first came out in theaters, every other film that came out before it was put in second place, awards-wise. It helps that Argo is a magnificent flick . Currently Oscar predictors are convinced the picture will have Oscar fame and glory. But will the front runner stay that way for long? That’s this week’s Oscar Scuttlebutt.
Even before Argo loudly made its way into theaters nationwide, there was already a flurry of Oscar buzz surrounding the picture. Ben Affleck quickly has been turning into one of Warner Bros’ favorite go-to filmmakers, and for good reason. All you have to do is take a look at The Town and Gone Baby Gone to understand why they’ve been keeping Affleck close to their chest. Yes, we’ve heard all the talk about how they’re trying to sculpt him into the next Clint Eastwood for themselves, Oscars and all, but let’s not get into that. What we’re focusing on is Argo, a well-crafted suspense drama that has so many cinematic twists and turns that it’s hard to believe this is based off of a declassified true story. Between the ridiculous amount of praise it received – currently a Certifiably Fresh 95% on Rotten Tomatoes – and the great box office bank that it’s made, it’s easy to see why it’s a front runner.
Sasha Stone, Scott Feinberg, Christopher Rosen and many others have it in the top spot on their top ten best picture list seen here. Argo is a cinematic force to be reckoned with. If the deadline for domestic feature films for this year’s Academy Awards ended today, and the Oscars would take place next month, Argo would likely win Best Picture hands down.
Then there’s also the faint, but still likely possibility that Argo could be nominated also for Best Director and Actor. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see Ben Affleck getting nominated for the trifecta? At the same time there’s a low chance of that happening, at least in the Best Actor’s section. Ben Affleck is a great actor, don’t get me wrong, but the strongest thing going for Argo isn’t an individual actor but the rescue story. We’re brought from point A to point B in stunning fashion with the last half hour’s worth of suspense that would make any cynical movie-goer digging their nails into the edge of their seat. Another thing that Argo has going against the actor’s category is that there’s a wide variety of A-list talent, but there isn’t particularly a single person who stands out. At most we’ll see a supporting actor nomination come out for Alan Arkin or John Goodman, but that’ll be about it.
But let’s just wait a minute. Before we start putting the crown on Argo as the victor of this year, let’s not forget that there’s still a couple more films that could give this movie a run for its money. There’s Les Misérables, the Tom Hooper film that many cinephiles and theater fanatics alike are drooling over. Not to mention Quentin Tarantino‘s bloody revenge tale Django Unchained and lastly, the nationwide release this Friday for Lincoln that’s been received as much critical acclaim as Argo. We would claim that there’s a chance that Life of Pi may get a glimmer of the Best Picture spotlight since the current word is that Ang Lee’s picture is apparently something worth seeing.
There’s also – usually – a front runner backlash. If the Weinsteins are fighting hard, it’s possible the fact that the movie makes up a whole lot of its tension with events that didn’t happen will be thrown in the film’s face. Sometimes these fights get dirty.
Although many of us bark at the fact that the Oscars have turned rather stale and predictable in recent years that doesn’t mean that the old girl doesn’t have a few surprises up her sleeve. For all we know there could be a movie tucked away in the next month and a half that could blow the pants off of Argo. Or maybe not. All that’s for certain is that you have to love the fall season and the variety of high quality movies that it has to offer. It’s like feeding the sweetest of candy to cinephiles. Yum.
Who do you see as the front runner?