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by Humphrey Carter

I think there was more to deciding who or which film won an Oscar this year than artistic merit. The hot favourite Lincoln fell at the final hurdle while Argo, which controversially and apparently incorrectly tells the tale of the Iranian hostage drama in 1979, shot into the running very late and scooped three of the most coveted awards including Best Picture.

Now, while director Ben Affleck is busy explaining why he ignored the fact that six American diplomats were saved by two Britons shuttling them to safety round Tehran in an orange Maxi and even going so far as suggesting that the British and New Zealand governments turned their backs on the hostages, I am wondering why Zero Dark Thirty, the dramatisation of the United States operation that found and killed Osama bin Laden, had to be content with Best Sound Editing after having also been tipped as a big winner with five nominations, including Best Picture.

It went to the Oscars with the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association's award for Best Director having been given to director Kathryn Bigelow, the second time the honor has gone to a woman (the first also being Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). The film swept critics groups' awards for Best Director and Best Picture including the Washington D.C., New York City, Chicago and Boston film critics associations.

So, was the Academy ‘leant' on to not champion a film about an event so fresh in the minds of the militant Islamic world but wind up Iran instead. Surely Lincoln would have been the safer option?