This year's Oscar race has me talking to myself. So here's a few questions and answers I'm thinking about these days?
Self: Are you surprised at the popularity of "Argo" and can you explain it?
Arch: Everybody expected "Argo" to get a best picture nomination but they also expected a best director nomination for Ben Affleck. When he got snubbed it kicked off a reverse "this aint fair" sympathy vote that boosted "Argo" to some early victories --- including the Golden Globe. Once "Argo" started winning, people took a second look and lo and behold discovered it's quite a good movie.
Self: Since Ben Affleck can't win best director --- he's not nominated --- who will?
Arch: Oh I think Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln"---originally I thought "Lincoln" would win best picture. Although a lot of people really like David O. Russell who directed "Silver Linings Playbook." There seems to be an upsurge of support for "Silver Linings" and that could boost David O. Russell. But I'm sticking with Spielberg.
Self: What about "The Silver Linings Playbook"
Arch: People really like it. In fact, I read it has a 100 per cent "Happiness factor"---people love the ending. And a lot of people in and out of the movie business really like Jennifer Lawrence---in fact they think she might be the next Julia Roberts. I think she's got great talent. And I am looking for her to upset Jessica Chastain and win best actress this year.
Self: What happened to "Zero Dark Thirty"
Arch: When it came out, many people, including me, just assumed it would be the movie of the year. It has a "Silence of the Lambs" quality to it---the story of a driven young woman chasing a frightening villain---in this case Osama Ben Laden. When government officials objected to the scenes of torture in the film, the criticism hurt the movie's award chances. I understand some other officials have backed off in their criticism but the damage has been done.
Self: What about the criticism of Speilberg's "Lincoln"
Arch: It'll hurt. A Congressman has charged that they changed historic facts including the votes of some Connecticut congressmen on the 13th amanedment. It turns out the Congressman is correct. The screen writer stands by his artistic license. The result may hurt Tommy Lee Jones' chances to win Best Supporting Actor.
Self: If not Tommy Lee who?
Arch: DeNiro. Another silver lining for "Silver Lining".