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Why “Argo” doesn’t deserve the Oscar

Hello, Academy members – you’re about to make a mistake. Not quite a world-historical, “day that will live in infamy”-type mistake on the order of “Crash” or “Dances With Wolves” or the lifetime snubbing of Stanley Kubrick, but a mistake nonetheless. You’re about to give your best-picture award to Ben Affleck’s movie “Argo” – or so everyone thinks right now; we’ll get to the doubt and wild speculation in due course – and it’s just not that good. I mean, look, it’s not terrible, and there are plenty of years when we’d be grateful for that. Your average barstool commentator could probably identify at least half a dozen best-picture winners that are clearly worse. (I won’t pretend that I’ve seen, say, “The Life of Emile Zola,” from 1937.)

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