We don’t tend to trouble ourselves too much with the Oscars round here but, since it’s quiet, can I do a quick ‘Yay!” for the Best Film (and assorted other) nominations for two of my favourite movies of last year, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook?
Each admittedly has a flaw or two – Ben Affleck’s Argo takes several liberties with the real story of the rescue it portrays, and SLP’s (lovely) ending is arguably a little cosy given the protagonists’ deep-rooted problems. But they’re Hollywood movies, not Ph.D theses, and, for Hollywood movies, they’re both so surprisingly thoughtful and astonishingly entertaining I don’t really mind those flaws at all.
As well as being a rip-roaring thriller with a fantastically smart, sassy script, Argo deals with the background to the Iranian revolution and the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis in a deeply intelligent and unusually balanced way. And its cast is totally stuffed to the gills with actors at the peak of their game (John Goodman and Best Supporting Actor nominee Alan Arkin in particular are just magnificent, but everyone else is great too). The cast of the utterly charming Silver Linings Playbook is also brilliant, mind you; especially, at the heart of the film, Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper – someone I’ve never really rated till I saw exactly how good he is in this – who is a revelation and Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence who is her usual self and therefore superb. If you missed either movie in the cinema, keep an eye out for the DVDs in due course – and enjoy!