As an award season junkie, I’m still not over how wide open this Oscar race is and how the Golden Globes shook up the situation – which probably makes the Hollywood Foreign Press Association very happy. They love that they’re actually a factor this year. Especially since Oscar nominations voting began yesterday just as everyone was trying to process what happened the night before.
Here’s what came to my mind last night as I was falling asleep: remember 6 years ago with Ben Affleck and Argo? It was January 10, 2013. Seth MacFarlane had already been confirmed to host that year and that morning he joined Emma Stone for the Oscar nominations. In the end, Argo was nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Picture. But when the Best Director category came up, Ben Affleck’s name was not called. It was the Snub of the Year. A huge headline. That was in the morning. In the evening, that night, it happened to be the Critics’ Choice Awards. The Broadcast Film Critics Association awarded Best Director to Ben Affleck. Given what went down earlier in the day, the room erupted in support and sympathy. When Ben finally made his way to the stage, the first words out of his mouth were, jokingly, “I’d like to thank the Academy”.
Three days after that, at the Golden Globes, on January 13, 2013, Ben won the Golden Globe for Best Director. Afterwards, coming off that win, when he was asked about the Oscar snub, Ben told the NYT, “We got nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture. If you can’t be happy with that, your prospects for long-term happiness are pretty sad.” I mean… we could dedicate an entire essay to that quote and what it means in a larger sense in terms of Ben’s career and personal perspective, but this is about Oscar politics and how unpredictable the race can be. As you know, Argo went on to win the big prize, Best Picture at the Oscars. And I wonder, had the timing been different, if the Oscar nominations had happened later that year, if he wasn’t riding that narrative about being snubbed, whether or not things would have broken differently.
Bradley Cooper was part of award season that year with Silver Linings Playbook (8 Oscar nominations), nominated for Best Actor. He was interviewed on The Today Show about Ben Affleck. His response was that Ben “got robbed”. Coop, then, of course, understands how the situation can change during award season. Like Ben Affleck, he too has directed a Warner Bros film that is contending for Oscar that is coming off an alleged snub – at least that’s how many people are referring to A Star is Born only winning one award on Sunday night. It’s not impossible for the ASIB campaign team to turn that perceived “snub” into an advantage, if they play it right. Already there’s been backlash to Bohemian Rhapsody’s Golden Globes win. Should that backlash grow, which film or films will benefit?
Yours in gossip,