Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tying with Les Misèrables for second place with the most awards received at the 85th Academy Awards, Argo achieved three Oscar vistories on Sunday night, including the prestigious Best Picture award. It beat out Life of Pi (which took home four awards, the most of the night), Amour, Les Misèrables, Lincoln, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty for the prominent award.
Nominated for seven total awards, Argo also won in the film editing and writing categories. William Goldenberg was the film editor and Chris Terrio was the writer.
Lead actor and director of the film, Ben Affleck, was not nominated in the directing category by the Academy. This is the first time since 1990 that a film has won best picture without a nomination for the director as well.
"Naturally, I was disappointed," Affleck said in an article on The Age. "But when I look at the directors who weren't nominated - Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, these were all amazing directors who I admire."
Although Affleck and fans of the movie were thrilled about its success, Iran was not so pleased with the award.
The film is a thriller based on a true story of when the U.S. Embassy was taken over in Iran, which came to be known as the Iran hostage crisis. Fifty-two Americans were held hostage in the Embassy for 444 days. Six of the U.S. diplomats, however, escaped before they were taken hostage and took refuge at the home of the Canadian Ambassador. "Argo" explores this terrifying time and how the CIA was able to get those six people out of Iran by teaming up with Hollywood to create a fake science fiction movie and give the six who escaped covers as the Canadian movie crew looking for locations for the film.
According to an article from CBS News, Iran dismissed the film's award as an "advertisement for the CIA." The article also said that "some Iranians called the award a political statement by America for its unflattering portrayal of the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution."
In the film, mostly all of the Iranians are consistently portrayed as violent extremists with long beards.
An L.A. Times article quotes Farzaneh Haji, who was 18 when the revolution took place. "I did not enjoy seeing my fellow countrymen and women insulted," he said in the article. "The men then were not all bearded and fanatical. To be anti-American was a fashionable idea among young people across the board. Even non-bearded and U.S.-educated men and women were against American imperialism."
The attempt of the film was to shed light on a successful rescue mission that was classified for almost 20 years, then declassified under President Bill Clinton in 1997. However, it definitely caused some negative backlash with Iranians and those who witnessed what actually happened during that time.
Below are some interesting videos I found while looking up the issue. The first is done by Euronews, giving opinions from some Iranians and how they feel about the film winning best picture:
The next is an interesting video I found by Buzz60, saying that Iranians may be creating a new movie showing the Iran side on a hostage situation involving Americans and Iranians.
But not to take away from Argo winning best picture (because personally, I thought it was a great movie), here is a video of Affleck's encouraging acceptance speech at the Oscars: