Sunday, 21 October 2012


Argo, 2012
Directed by Ben Affleck

Argo is a fake movie. No, the movie I went and watched in the theatres wasn't fake, but it was what was used to get 6 Americans out of Iran without being killed, in a time where Americans were being held hostage.

In 1979, the American embassy in Tehran, Iran was stormed by Iranian revolutionaries, and everyone inside was taken hostage by the country. 6 managed to escape and found refuge in the Canadian ambassadors house. While the world watches, the American government and CIA realize they need to find a way to get these 6 Americans out before the Iranians discover they have 6 missing people. Enter Tony Mendez. With only bad ideas floating around, Tony comes up with something crazy. He and the 6 Americans will pose as a Canadian film crew looking to film a sci-fi movie in Iran, visiting on a location scout. But it's not as easy as it sounds. Tony needs to make sure this is legit. He needs a script, he needs producers, a budget, actors, posters, anything to show that this is real. He needs press. But when he arrives in Iran to get the 6 out, he has to ask himself the age old question, "is this so crazy it just might work?" because the answer to that is life or death.

Ben Affleck has been in the business a long time. His only Academy Award nomination, was also his only win, for his writing on Good Will Hunting, with Matt Damon, back in 1997. For the most part though, Affleck was just a mediocre actor, picking several awful movies, and from time to time choosing very good ones. However, when Affleck released his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone in 2007, it received instant acclaim. His follow up in 2010, The Town, was equally acclaimed and just missed out on a Best Picture nod that year. His third effort, the film I'm now here to review, is said to be his best picture to date.

Affleck both directs and stars in this movie. What I really enjoyed about this movie was the balance between humour, and tension. This film felt very real. The humor didn't feel out of place or forced. And while some of the tense moments were a little dramatized, it wasn't an overt amount. For a serious film, it was really quite witty and funny. The scenes with Tony in Hollywood with his 2 producers (both in on his ploy), were really quite fun and funny, but switching back to scenes in Iran, it's very serious, and tense. And this was a really nice balance between the two. It was very human, and so many of the situations and reactions of all the characters didn't feel overly scripted.

Additionally, I felt Affleck and his crew did the look of the movie quite well. It was the cheesy 70's, with the massive glasses, horrible hair and mustaches, and most people looked like they fit right in, without it being more cheesy than the 70s already were. The mix of real footage from this time, and the modern footage was good, especially the beginning. And it was also pretty fun having the vintage Time-Warner logo at the very beginning.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this film. I was able to go with my boyfriend, and 3 other friends, and was happy that all of them really enjoyed it too.

Oscar chances? I'd say it's a definite lock for a Best Picture nod, and most likely a Directing and Screenplay nods as well. It has its best chance in acting for Alan Arkin, though he's nowhere near a lock right now. Going into this movie, it was my predicted winner for Best Picture, mostly based on the buzz from TIFF, and from me being a little disappointed by the Lincoln trailer (my previous, extra early, winner pick). Coming out of the movie, I'd say I'd be very happy if this film took the top prize. It's always nice when a film that the general audience has heard of and seen is picked. It was a really enjoyable film, a great and interesting true story, and was really well made. I'm definitely going to be rooting for this movie this season, thus far!

Acting- 7.5/10 
Directing- 8/10 
Screenplay- 8.5/10 
Visuals- 8/10 

Music- 7.5/10 Emotional Connection- 7.5/10 
Entertainment- 8/10 
Rewatchability- 8/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 8.5/10 

Overall Package- 7.5/10     

Total: 79/100

No comments:

Post a Comment