Roundup: The case against 'Argo'

Posted by · 5:15 am · February 19th, 2013

Yesterday, we led with “Lincoln” being taken to task for its factual infidelities; today, it’s the turn of “Argo.” Critical screeds against the Best Picture frontrunner are always a dime a dozen at this point in the season — frankly, a defence of Ben Affleck’s film would make for fresher reading right now — but Andrew O’Hehir’s Salon piece on why “Argo” doesn’t deserve the Oscar is as cogently argued as any: “I”m less concerned with the veracity of individual details than with the fact that ‘Argo’ uses its basis in history and its mode of detailed realism to create something that is entirely mythological. It”s a totalizing fiction whose turning points are narrow escapes and individual derring-do designed to foreground Affleck and his star power.” Personally, I don’t think Affleck’s star power is all that selfishly showcased — but hey, I like the film. [Salon]

Nelson George on why, while many of this year’s Oscar-nominated films highlight racial themes, their black characters’ humanity is “still hit and miss.” [New York Times]

Danny Leigh profiles “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Master” producer Megan Ellison — an Oscar nominee at 27, and one of the most exciting names in the industry. [The Guardian]

Jeff Wells, against the world as usual, takes it upon himself to tell us why Emmanuelle Riva is just okay in “Amour.” [Hollywood Elsewhere]

The makers of Oscar-nominated doc “The Invisible War” explain how winning the award could contribute to a change in military policy. [Vanity Fair]

The “Silver Linings Playbook” team was honored at the LA Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival over the weekend. [Variety]

As J.J. Abrams gears up to revive the “Star Wars” franchise, will John Williams still be on board? He’s up for it. [Vulture]

Matt Zurcher talks to Alexandre Desplat about his work on an impressive array of 2012 releases, including his Oscar-nominated score for “Argo.” [The Film Experience

Maggie Lange chats to Tom Van Avermaet, director of “Death of a Shadow” — the best of this year’s Oscar-nominated live action shorts. [Thompson on Hollywood]

Tom Shone tallies up the most repeated shout-outs across the archive of Oscar acceptance speeches — “Harvey Weinstein” and “America” rate equally. [These Violent Delights

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