Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

What 'Argo' tells us about America today

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 © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • 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 articles....

    • 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 certainly...

    • Grand vision for a revitalized Baltimore

      Grand vision for a revitalized Baltimore

      Payments in lieu of taxes, the economic incentives given to developers for investing in taxable infrastructure that creates a public benefit, can be creatively reconstituted to help eliminate the racial and economic disparities in urban America.

    • BMA ignores human rights violations

      BMA ignores human rights violations

      Thanks for your recent editorial on the exhibition of African masks from Liberia at the Baltimore Museum of Art ("Masking the truth at the BMA," May 26).

    • The best alternative to parallel parking

      The best alternative to parallel parking

      As a traffic consultant, I felt it was important to express an opinion about removing parallel parking on the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration drivers test ("Goodbye, parallel parking," May 21).

    • Baltimore police have been handcuffed

      Baltimore police have been handcuffed

      The astronomical increase in shootings and homicides in Baltimore is easy to explain. The criminal element is now in charge — no more police to hassle them and take their guns. They feel protected by the powers that be, and they are. They are shooting and killing each other because they are angry?...

    • Homeless vets deserve better

      Homeless vets deserve better

      Surely Baltimore can be proud to host an event that raises money for veterans experiencing homelessness ("Charity race helps homeless vets," May 25). Yet the story includes two ironies. The larger one concerns the need for events such this race. Our political leaders are far more eager to risk...

    • Pre-K must be a higher priority

      Pre-K must be a higher priority

      Pre-kindergarten "gave the children a taste of what was coming," declares S. Sufrin, a kindergarten teacher at Arlington Elementary/Middle School in Northwest Baltimore. ("New assessments show half of Maryland's students ready for kindergarten," May 20)

    Comments
    Loading

    79°