Everybody seemed to agree that Argo would win the Academy Award for best picture so it was no surprise that it did. I am OK with that; it was very entertaining and, because it seemed to be a lightweight movie that sort of wiggled into being a very good movie, it left a nice, surprising, aftertaste. That was Michele’s and my reaction, at least. We went in expecting a good movie and came out saying, Well, that was better than I expected. For no particular reason: it got good to excellent reviews but, somehow, it arrived without much buzz. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because Ben Affleck has been involved in alot of pretty crummy movies – like Pearl Harbor – and is not take very seriously, but he also directed The Town and Gone Baby Gone both of which were very good (IMHO).
Argo was not my favorite movie of the year, however. There are so many good movies this year that weren’t even mentioned. Cabin in the Woods which was great fun even if it was almost a Joss Whedon parody. The Avengers, also by Whedon, was fun to watch but not very memorable (atleast by me). Moonrise Kingdom was delightful. I do think that all three of these movies, Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, and Moonrise Kingdom had a certain unbelievablity that may have hurt them.
Django Unchained was another movie than came across as unreal but that seems to be Quinton Tarantino’s style. I think that part of it is that I have come to think of gritty, narrow focus, and quick cuts as more real than beautiful long scenes with deep focus. So Zero Dark Thirty – which my neighbor, Mark, tells me is really pronounced Oh Dark Thirty and means too early to be up – seems much more real than it really was and the beautiful scenes in Skyfall and Django Unchained, not to mention Life of Pi, take away from the realness. In a way, the most outrageous movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild seemed so real at times that it almost seemed like a documentary.
That is not to say that I like movies that feel real better than movies that seem unreal. I don’t; I loved Skyfall, and Dark Knight Rising for that matter, and Django Unchained is one of my favorite movies of the year. I also loved Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Moonrise Kingdom and probably more movies that don’t come to mind. Looking back at it, it just seems like this was a great year for movies.