Here is beardy Ben Affleck outside a boring brick building yesterday, and I am showing you these photos to remind you that Air came out this year. Doesn’t it feel like a million years ago?! Air came out this spring! But don’t forget about Air as we’re getting into awards season. To that end, Affleck, Air, and the actual people who developed the Air Jordan sneaker are being recognized at the Gotham Awards with the newly created “Visionary Icon & Creator Tribute”. Air Jordans are certainly an iconic object in pop culture, but I’m not prepared to call Ben Affleck a “visionary icon”. He is a solid director. I have enjoyed most of his films, and I love it when he plays rich weirdos in movies, which he does in Air. But visionary icon? C’mon.


And he’s got an uphill battle against actual iconic directors this year. Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese are duking it out while Greta Gerwig watches from the wings and Bradley Cooper brings his former gifted kid energy to Maestro. I will give Affleck this credit, and maybe it’s because he’s already got a couple Oscars, but at least he’s not as openly thirsty as Bradley Cooper. As SOON as the SAG-AFTRA strike is over Coop will be relentlessly in our faces. Anyway, Best Director is going to come down to Nolan and Scorsese, that much is already clear. But congrats to the publicist who locked down the brand-new Visionary Icon award for Affleck. That’s the real achievement.