The year 2012 was a blockbuster year for great films. Several of the movies up for Best Picture would have been runaway favorites almost any other time. They will make for easy pickings for the library when they become available on DVD.
Since I somehow managed to see four nominated films this year I thought I’d offer my first (and perhaps last) annual review of the best of the best.
I’ll first mention what I missed and why. I didn’t see “The Life of Pi” even though it was apparently a cinematic marvel. I didn’t read the book and the previews didn’t tweak my curiosity. I couldn’t stomach the thought of 2½ hours of constant singing in “Les Miserables,” and the over-the-top blood and guts of “Django Unchainged” made it a non-starter. The other two nominees I had never heard of before the Oscars.
The four I watch, “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Silver Linings Playbook” were all outstanding films, and I couldn’t quibble with any of them winning the Academy Award. Three were based on true-life events and the fourth on a real-life mental health issue. All were powerful movies.
As most of you know, “Argo” won the Best Picture award. I’m happy for Ben Affleck, who directed and starred in the movie. He seems like a class act. The story is both funny and surreal as the CIA concocts a bizarre plan of making a fake movie to get six Americans out of Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis. The six are hiding in the Canadian ambassador’s residence. The idea is to get them to pose as Canadian filmmakers with a fake script and pretend they are scouting Iran for locations. Once done with the fake film they will try to get out of the country using fake Canadian passports.