Entertainment Weekly declared Ben Affleck as 2012’s Entertainer of the Year…all because he released one amusing spy thriller “Argo.” While his emergence as a director is an impressive welcoming departure of his mess of a career, in my opinion, it doesn’t make him 2012’s Entertainer of the Year. John Hawkes was very entertaining in both “The Sessions” and “Lincoln.” His presence was felt in TWO movies this year, and Mr. Hawkes wont receive 10% of the publicity Ben Affleck. Mr. Affleck starred and directed in just one film that brought adult audiences to the theaters but before year’s end, it might be overshadowed. “Lincoln” is on the verge of completely dominating “Argo” in box office and award season. And “Les Mis” and “Zero Dark Thirty” have barely been seen. I have a theory as to why Affleck was really chosen, but lets take a look at other appropriate choices that would fit the mold of Entertainment Weekly demo:
As much hatred is spewed toward Kristen Stewart, she has had quite a year. She closed out the “Twilight” franchise, transitioned out of that roll into “the fairest one of all” starring in the summer blockbuster “Snow White & The Huntmen,” and has strong buzz for her dramatic turn in the indie film “On the Road.” Those accomplishments should calm down the haters. And EW loves “Twilight!”
Likewise, I find Channing Tatum to be overrated, but there is no denying he had a break out A List year with the smash successes of “The Vow,” “21 Jump Street,” and “Magic Mike.” In retrospect of 2012, I will eventually respect his accomplishments in this industry but for now, I just roll my eyes. He would be a perfect pick for a magazine that constantly cover “GLEE.”
Joss Whedon was successful with two of the best movies of the year; “The Avengers” and “Cabin in the Woods.” These movies will have their passionate fan base and age very well over time. He will be making many more movies for years to come. I’m sure he is flooded with numerous career choices and had quiet the breakout year people think Affleck had.
And lets not forget that “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlene flawlessly transitioned from TV to the big screen due to the monster financial success of “Ted.” (An original film grossing over $200 million nationally.) He is hosting the Oscars in part to his gig on SNL as well as this accomplishment.
I think this unexpected positive publicity will help Mr. Affleck’s Oscar chances significantly because in the terms of the Oscar race, “Argo” peaked too soon and could be forgotten by the end of 2012. I have my suspensions as to why he was chosen. Coincidentally, Entertainment Weekly belongs to the Warner Brothers conglomerate which is the studio that distributed “Argo.” Warner Brothers and Entertainment Weekly are both owned by Time Warner. (Hello, conflict of interest!?!) This seems suspect that he would be named Entertainer of the Year at a time “Argo” is losing awards buzz. This publicity and crossing $100 million the same week brings it back into the conversation.
My other gripe: the year hasn’t ended yet and it is premature to declare Affleck this accolade. In fact, TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss declared that “Zero Dark Thirty” quote “blows ‘Argo’ out of the water.” Why give kudos to the director of a movie that is about to get “blown out of the water?” If the critical praise for “Zero Dark Thirty” holds up like we are hearing, Entertainment Weekly will look very foolish for prematurely calling Ben Affleck the Entertainer of the Year especially over other filmmakers and actors who consistently dominated 2012.