By Marc Glassman
It will turn a boring Sunday evening in chilly February into a fun night of bad food, trash talking and too much drinking. No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. The 85th Academy Awards, which takes place this Sunday, rounds out the worst winter month with Hollywood’s yearly attempt to outdo football as America’s most important entertainment product.
With “Family Guy” Seth MacFarlane as Oscar’s host and the usual slew of gorgeous actresses decked out in fashion crimes and successes attending the event, there should be lots to amuse us on Sunday night. And just as there is the occasional good football game at the Super Bowl, there may be some moments during the Oscars when we’ll be able to recall that cinema is an art form worthy of commendations, not just an excuse to try out another recipe for chili.
Each year, I offer Classical 96.3 FM listeners and website readers the chance at yet another source of amusement during the Oscars, my selections of the Academy Award winners. Warning to new Classical 96.3 FM devotees: I don’t seem to have my fingers on the pulse of Hollywood’s finest. Still, I try gamely each year—and who knows—maybe some year, I’ll actually pick 95% of the Oscar winners. Just don’t bet the farm on it. And certainly not your condo!
Best Picture: Argo
It’s won at the Golden Globes and the SAG and Writers’ Guild Awards. Argo isn’t a very good movie—and I believe that’s true even if you don’t happen to be Canadian (like me) and hate the misrepresentation of what transpired to get American embassy officials out of Iran during the first months of Khomenini’s reign. But Argo is patriotic and a bit of comedy and a bit of a thriller and that nice Ben Affleck has certainly made a comeback, hasn’t he? In a weak year, this film shapes up to be the winner.
Other scenarios? Amour, truly the best film but an out-and-out tragedy, wins. Unlikely.
Zero Dark Thirty wins. Not likely—because it’s actually been attacked for its right wing politics. (Mind you, both Zero Dark and Argo are CIA narratives masquerading as political thrillers. This wouldn’t have happened in the apparently conformist ‘50s or ‘80s)
Life of Pi wins. Possible-in fact, I’d love it if it happened.