I remember when making fun of Ben Affleck was just something that you did with all of your fellow film fans. We all talked about how he was that blandly hot actor with zero charisma who they cast in action movies and really bad comedies for reasons that none of us could understand. Who would have thought that less than ten years after Gigli, one of the worst movies ever made, Ben Affleck would star and direct a movie like this? That story alone feels like something that you would find in a movie script that was all about the unlikely twists and turns that life could take sometimes.
Argo is a really tense and taut film that’s about a serious historical situation, but it approaches the situation from a wonderfully unique angle. It’s about the Iran hostage crisis and the rescue mission to save the six detained Americans, which automatically means that it’s going to be a movie that has a lot of suspense and that really keeps you on your toes. I was at the edge of my seat in the theater the entire time, and Affleck did a great job with keeping the script wonderfully tight. He also did a great job with the acting part, which really makes me wonder what happened over the course of the last ten years.
I don’t know if he just suddenly went back to school in order to improve his acting talents or whether they were always there, lurking under the surface and waiting for the right movie. One way or another, they’re on full display here, and Affleck really demonstrates that he’s more than a pretty face. Of course, given how great his direction is here, we would have known that one way or another.
I love movies that are at least partly about movies themselves, and this one fits the bill. It explores the ways in which people can get past other people’s defenses by saying that they need to do certain things in order to film something or write something. I always love it in books when someone asks something suspicious of someone else and they then cover themselves by saying that it’s for a book. Argo presents this idea in a way that is much more subtle than that, but it is still interesting to watch for that reason. Producers really do have privileges that the rest of us don’t have, and pretending to be a producer works really well when it comes to choosing the right disguise.
The film’s setup is brilliant, and it builds up to a climax that packs so much emotional punch that I was thinking about it for days afterwards. I really recommend this film to everyone. It truly earned every single award and every single award nomination that it got, and that’s including the three Academy Awards. I honestly don’t usually say that, because I tend to disagree with the selections that the Academy Awards judges tend to make. For instance, I hate the film American Beauty, and I think plenty of other 1999 films deserved it way more. I would have chosen the Sixth Sense personally, although Being John Malkovich would have satisfied me, too. So I fully acknowledge that the Academy just doesn’t always know what it is talking about when it comes to movies. However, in this case, they were completely spot-on with regards to their selection. Argo is a movie that I suspect will only get better with age, and it’s already aged three years. I highly recommend it.