Was Argo Really the Best Picture of 2012?

Argo won Best Picture at last night’s Oscars. I saw the movie and liked it, but when I left the theater I never dreamed it would be considered the best movie of the year. I have a theory about why it won.

If you haven’t seen it, Argo is the story of a group of Americans who escape the U.S. embassy to Iran when it’s overrun and take refuge in the Canadian embassy. The CIA hatches a plan to get them out of the country with fake passports by pretending they’re part of an advance film crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie called Argo.

The embassy workers get out of a number of scrapes because the Iranian authorities are fascinated by the movie project and fawn over storyboards to the point of distraction. The message that Iran may hate America but loves American movies stroked Hollywood’s ego. No doubt that helped make Argo a favorite of the Oscar voters.

4 Responses to Was Argo Really the Best Picture of 2012?

  1. Chris Byrne says:

    Actually, the reason it won best picture, was because the largest voting bloc of the academy are actors; and they were pissed off that Argo was nominated for many awards, but Affleck was NOT nominated for best director.

    The SAG membership felt that leaving Affleck out of the best director nominations, was a deliberate snub against him (and by extension, them), because he’s an actor (directors are nominated by the directors guild of america, but voted on for the award by the entire academy).

    Voting for Argo for best picture was basically payback against the DGA. Otherwise, Lincoln (produced and directed by one of the most famous and acclaimed directors of all time) would most likely have won.

  2. Les Jones says:

    Interesting stuff. Hollywood seems like a town with lots of backscratching, infighting, and long memories.

  3. Chris Byrne says:

    Oh my god yes…

    They’re STILL fetishizing the black lists.

  4. Paul says:

    ….and the history is wrong, or at least exaggerated. The Canadians had a far greater role in initiating the whole thing than is shown in the movie. For many years the CIA wanted to keep it under wraps, so the Canadians got ALL the credit. Now they get almost NONE of it. The reality is somewhere in between.

    Also the CIA “resident” and his staff were pretty much incapacitated by the embassy takeover, so the Canadian ambassador basically became the CIA station chief for a while.

    Lots of stuff the movie either didn’t show, or got wrong, but lots to like as well, and certainly it deserved a lot of the awards it got IMO.