The Academy Awards happen every year, just like clockwork. And every year someone gets snubbed. Sometimes these snubs are obvious, other times they’re speculated, or assumed. But something is for certain; Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck got snubbed for Best Director in 2013.
The Case for Argo
Although Ben Affleck was snubbed in the best director category Argo still managed to receive 7 nominations. They include the coveted best picture nomination as well as nominations for best supporting actor, best adapted screenplay, best film editing, best original score, best sound editing, and best sound mixing.
Argo won the award for Best Motion Picture, and Ben Affleck won the Best Director award at the Golden Globe ceremony. On top of that Roger Ebert chose Argo has his favorite film from 2012. The movie also received acclaim and high marks from both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Although these sites aren’t considered voting authority when it comes to the Academy Awards they are generally a go to source for an accurate voice on whether or not a movie is good.
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If that wasn’t enough to convince you of an obvious Affleck snub at the Oscars, consider this, even the British liked his movie enough for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to nominate him for the Best Director award. That being said I feel it an obvious sign that Affleck’s directing was far better than the Academy Awards will give him credit for, but then again, is that a surprise?
The Case for Zero Dark Thirty
Having been the first woman to win an Oscar in the Best Director category for her 2010 movie The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow is no stranger to controversy. And that controversy is exactly what her newest movie Zero Dark Thirty has been weighed down with ever since it was criticized for being “pro-torture.” In a blatant act of snobbery Bigelow was seemingly sidestepped for the Best Director nomination for this year’s Academy Awards.
Zero Dark Thirty received 5 Oscar nominations this year. They include best picture, best actress, best original screenplay, best film editing, and best sound editing. Like Affleck, Bigelow was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globe awards. If that’s not enough to convince you of a blatant snub take into consideration her nomination for Best Director at this year’s BAFTA awards.
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Zero Dark Thirty has also had its fair share of great reviews from fans and other industry critics. The movie received high marks on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, two sites that virtually determine the real life value of any movie. I wouldn’t go as far as to say there was a “conspiracy” to snub Bigelow from the Best Director nomination, but I think it’s safe to assume the “pro-torture” controversy was a little too convenient.
The Oscars pull this sort of thing far too often, and in all honesty, they only hurt themselves in the process. To deny a best director nomination for a movie that received nominations in both competing awards is ignorant at best. Either way you look at it you have to make an assumption. If the Oscars didn’t nominate it based on the torture controversy they’re hypocritical, and if they denied because of favoritism then their system of voting is corrupt and cannot be trusted.
The Oscars were put into place so that good directors, who shoot good movies, with good actors, could get recognized. Pulling this kind of stunt year after year not only gets old, it undermines the credibility of the (once) prestigious award.
About the author:
Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast, writer of movie reviews, and owner of Movie Room Reviews which has great information on movies and actors like Ben Affleck. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.