A couple of days ago, I finally conformed to social pressure and rented the movie Argo. I figured that, since the alleged experts on our society’s favorite form of media have deemed Argo worthy of the highest honor that such a piece of media can receive, I should try to avoid alienating myself entirely from said society by refusing to view this allegedly praiseworthy film. (Whoa! You might wanna read that sentence again. Go ahead; it’s ok.)
My experience was as I had expected. I enjoyed the film. It respectfully portrayed a distressing time in the history of two nations while incorporating bits of humor along the way. The acting and directing were flawless, and the action kept me riveted from start to finish. Despite all of this, however, I failed to see anything in this film that made it “Oscar-worthy.”
What I mean is, if the Academy considers this to be a prime example of good filmmaking, what are they looking for in a film? What makes the story of Argo so valuable? The themes of courage, perseverance, and trust? Certainly there are better films that illustrate these themes.
The truth is I have no answer to that question. Either I simply know nothing about what to look for when watching films (plausible, I admit), or our society has lost any sense of standards for judging the artistic value of films. I believe there are a lot of excellent films out there, but I just don’t see how this one is exemplar.
What do you think?