Argo’s Grand Slam

The final - and best - shot of Affleck with an award

The final – and best – shot of Affleck with an award

It was back in October that I wrote my review of Ben Affleck’s Argo, which still remains my one and only five star movie.  I finished,  wondering “…….wouldn’t it be a wonderful irony if a film about an absolute turkey of a movie that was never made ends up winning the Best Picture Oscar come February? Stranger things have happened…….”

And happen it did!  Ignoring the snub of being left off the Best Director list, Ben Affleck and his production team stepped forward to collect their little gold men and complete the movie world’s Grand Slam – Golden Globe, BAFTA, Oscar.  And the Iran Revolution-set thriller also took Best Adapted Screenplay (richly deserved by newbie, Chris Terrio) and Best Editing.

As with the BAFTAs, the awards were pretty evenly spread.  The Life Of Pi received the most trophies, the most surprising one being Best Director for Ang Lee.  This is the second time he’s won Best Director but not taken Best Picture as well (remember Brokeback Mountain and Crash?), so he must be hoping that third time lucky really is true.

The acting awards contained less surprises.  Certainly, the Best Actor win for Daniel Day-Lewis was no shock at all, but he did make a little bit of cinema history, being the first person ever to win three Best Actor awards.  He leaves acting royalty like Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando and Dustin Hoffman in his wake.  And he also became the first actor to win Best Actor for appearing in a Steven Spielberg movie.

Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress also followed the script, going to Christoph Waltz and Anne Hathaway respectively.  But Best Actress, yet again, tripped up some of the pundits – me included – with Jennifer Lawrence winning for Silver Linings Playbook.  It was, however, the film’s only award of the evening.

Other winners included Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Best Foreign Language film for Amour and Best Feature Documentary for Searching For Sugarman.

The British contingent had reason for celebration, and not just because of Daniel Day-Lewis.  As anticipated, Adele won Best Original Song for Skyfall and the Bond movie also shared the Oscar for Best Sound Editing with Zero Dark Thirty: the last time a Bond movie won an Oscar was in 1965 when Thunderball took Best Visual Effects.  And, after Dame Shirley Bassey’s performance, the audience must have been wondering why Goldfinger didn’t win for its song too.  As well as Anne Hathaway’s award, Les Miserables took home another two gongs, and Anna Karenina won Best Costume Design for its luxurious couture.

Inevitably, there were some losers.  Yet again, Lincoln failed to live up to its slew of nominations, taking a grand total of two awards, the second being for Production Design.  Rank outsider Beasts Of The Southern Wild went home empty-handed, while Zero Dark Thirty shared its one and only statuette with Skyfall.  Saddest of all was that Roger Deakins was yet again denied a win in the Best Cinematography category at his tenth attempt.  The Academy has to put that right – and soon!

So, that’s it for this year’s awards season.  The red carpet has been rolled up – and you know that in just a couple of months’ time it’ll be rolled out again.  Because the festivals will be starting……..!

For the full list of nominees and winners, go to


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