Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

What 'Argo' tells us about America today

Academy AwardsMoviesArgo (movie)Ben Affleck

Sunday night, many Americans watched the Academy Awards; celebrating Hollywood's finest, analyzing red carpet entrances, and critiquing stars' fashion choices. For a few hours we are offered a glimpse into a world of glitter and wealth foreign to most Americans. For many people, the Oscars offer a welcome distraction from the impending sequestration, the bitter partisan political atmosphere, the economic downturn, and the myriad crises playing out around the world.

The Oscars acknowledge the year's top film professionals, from actors and directors, to cinematographers and editors. However, below the surface, the Oscars represent the state of our society. In the 1930s, alien movies were ubiquitous; these movies represented the American public's fear of communism. In the 1940s, war movies helped citizens cope with a world war and its vast societal impacts. Each year, the Oscars provide some understanding of the state of American society.

What can be learned about Americans by the movies we went to see this year? Taking a quick look at the best picture nominations, we see an array on topics covered. However, in each film we see the common theme of overcoming hardships and being better for it. Many of the movies are period pieces, looking at rough patches in history and how people coped.

This year's Academy Award for best picture was awarded to Ben Affleck's film, "Argo." So what does "Argo" suggest about our society today? Well there is the glaring obvious: we as Americans are concerned about the Middle East, and specifically, the future of our relationship with Iran. Many Americans are uneasy about the revolutions taking place around the world and are concerned about the potential consequences of American intervention. "Argo" shows our desire for an unsung hero, someone who is willing to fight the odds, and selflessly protect the interests of the United States and its people.

Although "Argo" takes places in November, 1979, there are similarities that we can relate to today, most strikingly, the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stephens in Libya not too long after the year's best picture was released.

Aubrey Grant, Washington

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    Academy AwardsMoviesArgo (movie)Ben Affleck
    • Book adaptations are big winners at Oscars
      Book adaptations are big winners at Oscars

      To find the inspiration behind the actors, actresses and others who hoisted Oscars last night, look no further than the works in your nearest library, bookstore or e-reader. The big winners were drawn from characters in adaptations that ranged from a mid-19th Century novel to modern magazine...

    • Argo, Lincoln and the politics of Hollywood
      Argo, Lincoln and the politics of Hollywood

      The Oscar for best picture was won by "Argo," the true tale of a secret rescue mission in Iran during the Carter administration. It beat out "Lincoln," the story of how black Americans were rescued from slavery. Does this mean Jimmy Carter's stock is on the rise? Nope, but Ben Affleck has...

    • Ehrlich's 'cult of anti-Obamaism'
      Ehrlich's 'cult of anti-Obamaism'

      Though I am 1960s retread boomer and unrepentant liberal who usually disagrees commentator Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., I read his column regularly. No surprise that he recently panned Obamacare — again — but what I never hear from Republicans is the Plan B, i.e., how we deal with the...

    • Let's just ban the bags
      Let's just ban the bags

      I have a problem with plastic bags and the bag tax issue ("Council passes body camera bill, plastic bag ban, but veto looms," Nov. 17). So much time and energy has been spent on this issue. When we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, there are so many daily issues, each much more...

    • 'Rain tax' not optional
      'Rain tax' not optional

      The recent sub-headline on the editorial regarding the "rain tax" was patently false ("The bogus 'rain tax' repeal," Nov. 23).

    • How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?
      How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?

      It saddens me to see the former congressman and governor of Maryland salivating with anticipation at the thought of depriving millions of Americans of decent health insurance by rolling back the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare is a varsity stinker," Nov. 23).

    • On 'rain tax,' Hogan has the right idea
      On 'rain tax,' Hogan has the right idea

      The Sun really doesn't get it! Larry Hogan is "repealing" the "rain tax" because it is emblematic of the over-taxing of our state's residents ("The bogus 'rain tax' repeal," Nov. 24). You can engage in all the legalistic finger-wagging you care to, but the people of this state are not impressed...

    • Farrakhan should pipe down
      Farrakhan should pipe down

      Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan needs to shut his pie hole ("Speaking at Morgan, Farrakhan predicts violence in Ferguson," Nov. 22). Mr. Farrakhan's modus operandi is to instill hatred aimed at Caucasians and Jews into his rants. What he has done, in effect, is to set the race...

    Comments
    Loading