The three movies favoured to win the Best Film award focus entirely on United States’ military might
Whichever film wins the Motion Picture Academy Awards’ top plaudits on Sunday night, American political and military prowess is likely to be showcased with glorious fanfare.
Awaiting the ultimate crown at the Oscars in Los Angeles this year are no fewer than three bookies’ favourites focused entirely on the power of U.S. covert operations or military might to transform international and domestic politics — Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln.
While Argo tells the tale of the “Canadian Caper,” in which Central Intelligence Agency agent Tony Mendez helped rescue six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, Zero Dark Thirty is Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s dramatisation of the spy agency’s hunt for 9/11 terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Lincoln captures the struggles of the revolutionary former U.S. President as he wrestled with a truculent Congress over the 13th constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, and indeed echoes President Barack Obama’s present quandaries in terms of the hard choices and pork-barrel political manoeuvring he faced on Capitol Hill, in conjunction with the implications of a raging war.
However these three films extolling some aspect of U.S. ascendancy notwithstanding, the MPAA panel has thought it right to consider some lighter fare as well.
The lighter fare
Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Amour, Beasts of the southern Wild and Les Miserables are gentler, comedic or fantasy-based narratives that are in the running for the best film award.
Quentin Tarantino’s swashbuckling, cheeky, and often typically bloody take on the nasty underbelly of slavery in Django Unchained is indeed the breath of fresh air in this year’s selection.
In some ways it is the perfect foil for the Academy’s obvious admiration of the U.S. position in the world order today.