Yesterday afternoon Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil pointed out that Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone and Entertainment Weekly‘s Thom Geier are the last Lincoln diehards. Everyone else is picking Argo to win Best Picture but not these two soldiers, and you know something? I admire their decision to lash themselves to the mast and if necessary go down with the ship.
It’s not easy to stand alone against the chuckling of your peers. It takes sand. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. But it’s what separates the men from the boys. If you really believe then you need to say “eff the odds and to hell with predicting — this is the best film of the year and standing by it is an expression of who I am and what I am.”
This is what Sasha is thinking, I mean. I don’t think this is what Geier is saying or thinking, or at least not with any conviction.
I stood by The Social Network during the 2010-2011 season despite the deranged and altogether shameful King’s Speech capitulation by the Academy, the guilds and most of the go-along prognosticators. There is no filmmaker or journalist with any self-respect who would argue with a straight face today that The King’s Speech is a better, bolder, taller achievement than The Social Network, but quite a few people went along with this appalling notion two years ago. The fact that I pooh-poohed and in fact spat upon the King’s Speech cavalcade is one of the things I am truly proud of in my life.
O’Neil’s commentary: “Sasha has been a diehard Lincoln soldier for eons, but she briefly caved in to the momentum behind “Argo” after it swept the Producers, Screen Actors’ and Directors’ Guilds, then climbed back up on her feet and mustered new courage to resume her fight for “Lincoln.” Noting how rarely a film has managed to win Best Picture without its director being nommed in modern times (just once — that notorious Driving Miss Daisy example), she says, “I have to adhere to the stats in the face of confusion — I am just built that way.”
“Poor Thom is waffling a bit too. At one point in our podcast chat, he admits that the other 23 Oscarologists may be right, but then he suddenly snaps out of it, rallies behind his choice of Lincoln and says, ‘I find it hard to imagine that when you’re filling out a ballot with 26 categories, the only thing you’re checking off is Argo for Best Picture…? It’s possible that it could pick up some technical awards. It might pick up adapted screenplay over Lincoln. It could get editing. But it’s kind of hard for me to imagine an Argo sweep, which is what you tend to get with a Best Picture winner.”