The Academy Awards usually doesn’t favor genre. Just think of how many great genre films got the shaft, from Jaws, to Star Wars, to E.T., and so on.
And just think how many genre films never even got nominated past the usual technical awards. The list would pile up to the moon.
This is why it’s interesting to see Argo winning so many awards pre-Oscars. Although it’s technically a political thriller, it’s the story of a fake sci-fi film being used as a ruse during the Iranian hostage crisis. Plus, it’s a true story, which makes the whole Argo saga even more fascinating.
This year, the whole Oscar race indeed feels wide open, and it appears that one film won’t sweep it, but that the awards will be divided among several of the nominees, which also happened at the Golden Globes with Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, and of course, Argo, which won the Golden Globe for Best Drama.
Oddly enough, Ben Affleck, who’s now being considered for several big movies as a director, including The Stand at Warner Brothers, didn’t get a Best Director nod, and FoxNews even ran a cockamamie theory that Ben showing off his abs too much in the film might have cost him the gold. But then Argo won the SAG awards, as well as the Producer’s Guild Awards, and the Wrap reported, “Even when it’s not supposed to, Argo keeps winning.”
Affleck himself remarked, “I am really amazed and stunned,” and these wins could be a strong harbinger of what’s to come on Oscar night.
Before the awards started piling up, the Daily Beast called Argo the under-dog against Lincoln, which should at least get a Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis. At first, the Beast thought Argo peaked too early, “kind of like Romney did,” but indeed “the momentum seems to be moving in Argo’s direction, a movie that paints the showbiz industry as an international superpower.”
When a friend of mine told me about Argo early last year, just from his thumbnail description is sounded like a great movie, and Alan Arkin has a great line in the film where he says, “If I’m going to make a fake movie, I’m going to make a fake hit.”
So if a real movie based on a fake movie actually wins the Academy Award, it would be a wonderfully ironic cap to the whole shebang.