Analysis: Argo and Filmmakers’ Responsibility

Even before Argo won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Hollywood’s top honor, it was already being plagued by controversy.  (Nevermind the fact that every other nominee was controversial in some way: Lincoln got easy facts wrong, Silver Linings Playbook mishandled mental illness, Beasts of the Southern Wild romanticized poverty, Zero Dark Thirty lied about torture’s effectiveness, Django Unchained was racist and used the n-word too much, Russell Crowe’s singing was horrible in Les Miserables, Life of Pi misrepresented Indians and religion, and Amour advocates assisted suicide and wasn’t even in English!)  It’s nothing unusual for films to encounter controversy, or even to court it, but the debates this year about facts and politics in film have raised questions (none of them new) about the responsibility of filmmakers to the audience.
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Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is the sort of film that defies classification or description, by nature of its inherent simplicity and the complexity of interpretation.  It’s nominally the story of a girl whose community is devastated by a hurricane, but that’s merely the surface.  Beasts of the Southern Wild is one part environmental fable, one part coming of age story (maybe), one part morality tale about the links of the universe, and possibly many more things, all wrapped around one truly remarkable and unique performance.

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