There are valid reasons for and against "12 Years A Slave" winning Best Picture, none of which have to do with the success of "12 Years A Slave." (Steve McQueen's film is, at its very worst, a very good movie; it's impossible to imagine anyone giving it a poor review.) As CinemaBlend's Katey Rich wrote on Friday, Oscar season is about the narrative. "Argo" won Best Picture not necessarily because it was a better film than "Zero Dark Thirty," "Lincoln" or "Silver Linings Playbook," but because it had the best backstory: an A-list Hollywood star hits the skids, rebuilds his career, gets snubbed in the process, and still triumphs over all. Not even Frank Capra could write a script like that.
Hello, Mike! Just last Friday, you and I were standing in the office and wondering where this year's awards contenders were hiding. (After all, by that Friday last year, "Argo" had already debuted.) Then "12 Years A Slave" premiered at the Telluride Film Festival that night, and we received our answer.