|Scene from All the King's Men|
If you're a loyal reader to The Oscar Buzz, you'll likely notice that the past few months have introduced a special column called Super Delegates. This was done specifically to focus on politicians in Oscar-nominated films, as well as a few bonus columns dedicated to special depictions from other less prestigious resources. With today marking the one month countdown to America's big election on November 8, it is time to start closing up shop. That means that the column (which I assure you will come back in four years, if The Oscar Buzz is still viable) is coming to an end. As a treat, I thought that I would clue in readers to the final countdown, which will all lead up to November 8th's entry covering the only politician-lead movie to win Best Picture: All the King's Men. So, what else made the cut? Read on to find out.
It was difficult to whittle this list down, especially with five weeks to go. However, I have decided to double up in the closing stretch by doing the regulated Super Delegates every Tuesday, and the promise of a Bonus every Friday (save for the final week, which will have a Bonus entry prior to that Tuesday). The following is a rundown of each pairing, including the broader theme that joins them.
Week of October 9: The Impact of Abraham Lincoln
1. Super Delegates: Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012)
2. Bonus: The Lincoln Letters in The Hateful Eight (2015)
Week of October 16: How to Handle War
1. Super Delegates: President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove (1964)
2. Bonus: Jimmy Carter on Argo (2012)
Week of October 23: Inside the Mind of a President
1. Super Delegates: Harry S. Truman in Give 'Em Hell, Harry (1975)
2. Bonus: George W. Bush in W. (2008)
Week of October 30: The Legacy of Richard M. Nixon
1. Super Delegates: Richard M. Nixon in Nixon (1995)
2. Bonus: Richard M. Nixon in Secret Honor (1984)
Week of November 6: How to Run a Campaign
1. Super Delegates: Willie Stark in All the King's Men (1949)
2. Bonus: Anthony Weiner in Weiner (2016)
It was difficult to pick just 10 movies to cover (and even more when you add in TV). However, I think that these will make for the most interesting results. I don't intend each entry to connect thematically beyond coincidental pairing, but I do hope that my series on Abraham Lincoln and Richard M. Nixon will come to a worthwhile conclusion. This has been a fun use of my time, though I apologize if I ever pushed a political agenda (as a movie critic, I intend to judge intent over personal bias). Still, it's interesting to explore political cinema in an election year, and I do hope that my parallels have at least made rational sense.
So now that you know what to expect, I do hope that you come back every Tuesday and Friday (unless specified otherwise) to read how these films have impacted political cinema and what they say about our modern election. It has been a fun past couple of months, and I'm sad to see it come to an end. However, I still think it's for the best. I don't know what will replace it, but it definitely will be less of a hot button issue. Thanks again, and let's ride out the last five weeks of 2016 presidential ambiguity together by looking back at this country's great history of analyzing itself through cinema.