|Argo: The best movie of 2012|
With films such as Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, the 1st winner was the adult audience. "This was a great year for the garden variety film goer," Hornaday says. "Adults were a very big market. These were the kind of dramas most of us grew up with."
Hornaday appeared at the Newseum on Saturday to talk about the year in film and many of the Oscar nominees. It was the 3rd year in a row that Hornaday had presented such a program the day before the awards would be announced.
This year's 9 nominees were all strong pictures. But Hornaday contends the strength of movies reached into other genre categories such as comedies like Magic Mike, science fiction films like Looper, and thrillers like Skyfall, the latest in the long line of James Bond pictures. "What you want is diversity," she said. "Some years there has been a huge disconnect between what critics like and what the public likes, but it wasn't that way this year."
Hornaday says that there are film experts who believe the bounty of strong movies can actually be attributed to the failing economy of a few years ago. It can take 4 or 5 years for a film project to reach the theaters, which means many of these films saw their financing actually reduced. In turn, that reduction may have sparked an increase in creativity, the result of which actually made for a better movie. "My sense is that they (filmmakers) are really upping their game," Hornaday said.
The second big winner was Washington, D.C. which was a integral locale to 3 films - Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty - most favored to win the best picture award. "It was a great year for DC," Hornaday said. The critic said that Washington has long fielded a strong presence in stories and settings in films. "People have always had a fascination with the power behind the curtain. But what set these apart was the lack of cynicism. And this came at a time when Congress is stuck with such a bad odor," she contended.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Hornaday is an interesting and engaging speaker. But her real strength is in her cogent, informative writing. To check out Hornaday's recent writings including articles supporting her contention that audiences were the big winners in 2012 and a look at the Oscar under the influence of politics, just click here.