Ben Affleck

Oscar Watch: Will crowd-pleasers 'Patriots Day' and 'Live by Night' play with the academy?

Oscar Watch: Will crowd-pleasers 'Patriots Day' and 'Live by Night' play with the academy?

Oscar campaigns are always as much about managing expectations as they are about the films themselves.

Case in point: Talking the other night about his throwback gangster picture, “Live by Night,” Ben Affleck explained, “This wasn’t a movie where I said, ‘Come on, we’re gonna win best picture.’ This was a crowd-pleasing, genre movie.”

Here’s what’s telling about Affleck’s assessment of his follow-up to “Argo,” the movie that did win the best picture Oscar. Affleck was talking primarily to members of the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., a group that exists almost solely to predict the Oscars with its...

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