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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2013 Oscars Recap

Another Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone, and overall it was an enjoyable evening.  There were few surprises among the award winners, though I only correctly predicted 16/24 winners correctly (equaling my score from last year, at least I’m consistent).  In addition to there being no real surprises there are also no winners that I feel were not deserving to win; even if I disagree with the outcomes, the awards went to quality films/performances which makes it hard to complain too loudly.  The show itself was enjoyable, if not spectacular, with some wonderful moments and some bits that fell flat, and I was surprised with how much I enjoyed Seth MacFarlane.  Read on to see my thoughts in a bit more detail.
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Review: Silver Linings Playbook

Pat (Bradley Cooper), a high school teacher in Philadelphia, is finally being released from a mental hospital after eight months.  He was sent there as part of a plea bargain after he discovered his wife with another man and almost beat him to death, a product of the bipolar disorder he was diagnosed with at the hospital.  He’s spent these last eight months working hard to improve himself, losing weight and dealing with his condition, in order to impress and reconnect with his wife, Nikki, if only he could get her to drop the restraining order.
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