I loved Argo, much as I’ve loved both of Ben Affleck’s previous directorial efforts. The concept and source material are fascinating and the narrative and cast are varied and dynamic. Needless to say I’d agree that it earned its place as an Academy Award nominee and winner for Best Picture. So, leaving that at the door and proceeding with the understanding that Ben Affleck is a talented director and Argo was a dope flick that I bought and watched the shit out of on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack I would be remiss not to vocalize my suspicion that Argo’s best picture win essentially felt like Hollywood high fiving itself like an idiot.
Don’t get me wrong, I high five myself all the time; after I say cool puns like “Holy Sith it sure is Darth out,” or after I start a jukebox with my fist, or after I make a dope beat on Fruity Loops, or after my hand falls asleep – but all of those things are awesome.
When Argo won last weekend it was hard not to hear the fat gullet of Hollywood forcing out the words “look what I did” through alternating fistfuls of cocaine and soy cheese, or whatever the hell Hollywood eats. Diet aside, it kind of sort of definitely, inescapably feels like the Academy held Argo up to the world to say “look at how important Hollywood is – Hollywood saved a bunch of people from Iranian captivity. Now watch me high five myself like an idiot.”
Who would have thought the 2011 Best Picture winner would be The Artist, a movie about making movies? The win came from way out of left fie- wait a minute… Hollywood makes movies. It’s almost like Hollywood picked The Artist because The Artist was a movie about Hollywood. And it’s almost like Argo got picked because it depicts Hollywood being utilized to save lives from capture and captivity (typical Hollywood behavior, no doubt). Next year my film, which tells the story of Hollywood selflessly helping an impoverished, adopted girl find her handicapped adopted puppy, is a shoe in.
Argo was fantastic – but if they really wanted to honor the film for its own merits why didn’t Affleck get nominated for masterfully directing a narrative that could have been jumbled and destroyed in lesser hands? The NFL already snubbed Boston, would it have really been that hard for the Academy to throw them a bone? Yes. Because every bone the Academy throws Boston is a bone they don’t throw themselves.
Argo’s ulterior-motive-drenched-win is just one specific instance of a broader modern American happenstance: millions of Americans, myself included, are willingly watching Hollywood televise itself high fiving itself for being itself.
Why the hell do millions of viewers care what a bunch of nameless, faceless old people think about movies? Do you know who the president of the Academy is? A dude named Hawk. A dude whose name is Hawk. Why do viewers care what some guy named Hawk thinks? Why the hell do viewers care what Anne Hathaway is wearing? I’m wearing an awesome Game of Thrones shirt and Batman pajamas and slipperoos and I don’t see Kristin Chenoweth bugging the shit out of me. What gives?
More importantly, not only is the Academy’s opinion worthless, my opinion is gold. I’m a consumer, and as such Hollywood works for me (and you too I guess), so why the hell would I (and you too I guess) care what Hollywood thinks it did best this year – the decision isn’t Hollywood’s to make.
General Mills doesn’t host a gala every year to tell me which of their cereals I should like best. That would be stupid and pompous and douchey. Lucky us, Hollywood is no General Mills.
Argo was an awesome movie that deserved all kinds of praise and Ben Affleck’s metamorphosis from Matt Damon’s best friend to Matt Damon’s best friend who directs incredible movies has been a joy to behold. But I don’t know that because the Academy told me – I know that because I decided it myself. The 2012’s Best Picture is whatever the hell I (and you too I guess) want it to be.
Which brings me to the crux of the matter.
2012 was an insane year for movies; The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Seven Psychopaths and so on and so forth, but without a doubt, in my humble opinion – which is fact (see above) – Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 was the beaming bright jewel on the golden crown of cinema in the year 2012.
Remember that part where Tony Stark is racing a car and then Whiplash is all like “oh man, I don’t think so guy,” and uses his laser whips and CUTS THE CAR IN HALF? I mean – it’s A CAR and it gets CUT IN HALF! How crazy are those whips, AMIRIGHT?
Remember that part where that guy who’s like a Tony Stark sort of guy but is a bit lamer and more whiter and has glasses comes out and he has the microphone and he does the dances? Too funny, because he is not very good at dancing but he dances like he is very good at dancing. It’s this sort of complex Irony (because of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 – get it?) like this that makes Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 the best film of 2012.
Don’t believe me?
Remember that part where Iron Man and his black friend War Machine Man are in that plant zoo or whatever and then all of those robot robots come into the building and Iron Man and War Machine Man are all like “oh man, this is too crazy, look at all of these robots, there are at least way more robots here than there are us here, too crazy,” and then they’re all like “just kidding” and they shoot so many bullets but then the War Machine Man shoots that one bullet that the dancing guy gave him and was all happy about but then the bullet isn’t very good at all.
I mean, why was the guy dancing so much if his bullet is no good? Its complex Irony (because of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 – get it?) like this that makes Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 the best film of 2012.
But don’t take it from me – seriously, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 is my 2012 Best Picture, get your own. Don’t let Hollywood tell you what you should find entertaining, remember, they work for you. And me. Mostly me (but you too I guess).
On an unrelated not, remember that part where Iron Man and War Machine Man are fighting and listening to Daft Punks and it’s all like “drop the beat” and then they do their hand lasers and it blows up the house and they’re all drunk and stuff. Talk about the life of the party.