Guessing who gets the gold for some of 2012's best
BY GENE TRIPLETT
There are moviegoers who still remember Steve McQueen’s shocked and anguished cry at the tragic end of “The Sand Pebbles” — “What the hell happened?”
That’s probably the question that shot through the befuddled minds of Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper and Quentin Tarantino when the films they helmed (“Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Les Miserables,” “Django Unchained,” respectively) received best picture Oscar nominations while the filmmakers themselves all were
snubbed for best director honors. (At least McQueen got the best actor nod way back when, even if he didn’t win.)
But there are nine best pic contenders this year while the director category is still limited to five choices, which, by the way, would seem to weaken the old theory that only
a movie with a nominated director has a good shot at the top prize. And while “Lincoln” leads the Academy Awards competition with 12 nominations including best picture and best director (Steven Spielberg), there are strong indications of another in a series of “Argo” upsets. Could Honest Abe lose big the election? Here’s how I’m calling this and all the other big Oscar races.
The prizewinning chances of the brilliant “Zero Dark Thirty” seem to have been irreparably damaged by politics surrounding the
depiction of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. But with “Argo,” we have a true story about movie people pulling off something heroic, helping the CIA spirit fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis, and Hollywood loves to see itself look good up there on the screen. Besides, it appears that a lot of people want to right the wrong done to Ben Affleck by the voters in the directors’ wing of the Academy. Spielberg’s masterful “Lincoln” could be defeated, at least on this part of the ticket.
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