Ben Affleck‘s Argo completed its Cinderella rise to the top of the heap during awards season by claiming the Oscar for Best Picture at Sunday’s 85th Annual Academy Awards. When the nominations were announced on January 10th, the glaring omission of a Best Director nod for Affleck at first seemed to kill the film’s chances of winning Best Picture. After winning nearly every major award in the interim, Argo surged ahead from underdog to frontrunner and ultimately beat out conventional favorite, Lincoln. Argo‘s feat is particularly amazing in light of the fact that it is only the fourth film in Oscar’s 85-year history to take Best Picture without a nomination for Best Director. (The most recent was Driving Miss Daisy, 23 years ago.)
Since the early twentieth century, greed has been a subject to fascinate filmmakers and movie audiences alike. It is a vice that can turn normal men into monsters. Like a plague, it spreads ever so easily to destroy the Host and the Innocent. The most notable starting point of greed on film is in Erich von Stroheim’s silent work Greed (1924). Famous for its original ten-hour length, which was obliterated much to the director’s chagrin by over seven hours worth of cuts, Greed explored in much detail how destructive the abstract can be. In this week’s Reel Rumbles, the wages of greed are examined further by two modern classics, adaptations of the literary works of Upton Sinclair (Oil!) and Cormac McCarthy. Lie to friends, horde your wealth, and steal from family members – it’s time for No Country for Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood.