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Local News

February 23, 2013

Our experts' Oscar picks

It’s been said that those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. If that’s the case, there are four local film buffs who stand no danger of such a fate. 

The Daily Star asked Hartwick College theater director Ken Golden, Daily Star columnist Maggie McVey, local filmmaker Joseph C. Stillman and local radio host and author Chuck “Big Chuck” D’Imperio to weigh in with their picks for this year’s awards. And while the four were not in unison on everything, the historical dramas “Argo” and “Lincoln” stood out as favorites. 

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D’Imperio picked Steven Spielberg’s biopic of the 16th president as the most likely candidate to take home the “Best Picture” award from among a crowded field that also includes heavy hitters, such as “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” crowd-pleasers, such as “Les Miserables” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” and creative works, such as “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Life of Pi.”

“‘Lincoln’ brings to life a president who has mostly existed in books, sculpture and lore, while masterfully navigating the complexities of 1800s politics. Even at nearly three hours, this film moves quickly,” D’Imperio wrote. 

But bringing history to life can come at a cost. For Golden, Spielberg’s film was “a bit too much of a history lesson,” adding that “Congress is held in such low esteem by so many that it is hard to love a movie that demonstrates how hard it’s been for them to do the right thing for so long.”

Golden joined Stillman in picking another tale taken from the pages of history, the Ben Affleck-directed “Argo,” which tells the story of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. 

Stillman called the film “a gripping, ensemble drama of a real-life event that captured an era most of us have forgotten. It is a skillfully crafted movie that puts the viewer smack-dab in the midst of a difficult period of U.S. history.” 

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