2012 began with the depression of The Artist being the all-but-guaranteed Best Picture winner, and it’s ended with the depression of Oscar handicappers (Gurus of Gold, Gold Derby guys) lazily forecasting with all the vim and vigor of a 74 year-old fat man that Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln has the strongest head of steam, blah blah. Please don’t listen to their tired consensus thinking, which is a kind of virus that spreads from one lazy mentality to the next.
Not Lincoln — I’m down on my knees — and anyone but King Poobah Rajah Sultan Spielberg. Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, Silver Linings Playbook‘s David O. Russell, Amour‘s Michael Haneke…please! And dear merciful God, not Quentin Tarantino!
There is something so profoundly passive and deflating with the idea of choosing a rotely admirable procedural about passing a certain piece of legislation as The Year’s Finest Film. History demands that you bring something more than droopy eyelids and tired blood to the debate. Lincoln is almost the President Mubarak of Best Picture contenders. I say “almost” because it doesn’t espouse venality and corruption. But it’s certainly the safe, traditionalist choice. Civic-minded and old-schoolish, heavily funded, nicely crafted except for Janusz Kaminski‘s milky lighting…a nice, easy, retirement-village pocket drop.
I recognize that the Spielberg-kowtow crowd believes that Lincoln is the easiest nod-off (in the same way that Chicago and The Artist were easy-wheelchair picks) and therefore a default Best Picture winner. But why? I am telling you with every fibre and molecule that I can bring to this moment and this sentence that they’ve just slumped into the idea because everyone else has slumped into it. Why do they believe everyone else has swallowed the same sleeping pill? One reason is that the Gurus of Gold and the Gold Derby guys are saying so.
Do you see now what a terrible thing it is to listen to these guys (and I’m saying this as a member of the Gold Derby team)? They propulgate safely mediocre thinking.