Date: 10/21/2012 10:06:00 AM
I have always respected Ben Affleck as a director in comparison to Ben Affleck the actor. Most movies where Affleck has been in the lead role have exposed his weakness. I can think of probably one movie where his performance as an actor was quite controlled and well executed – Valentines Day (if I remember correctly).
But the minute our man dons the director’s hat, he seems to be much better placed. I thought The Town was slow but it was quite well made. There was an effort to paint a picture with each character and the overall story. Ditto with Gone Baby Gone. Both were very intense movies.
I have heard that both Affleck and Matt Damon – the young guard of Hollywood about 20 years back are great thinkers when it comes upto cinema. Screenplay and direction. With Argo, Affleck has definitely taken himself to the next level – both as a director as well as an actor.
Cora Lijek (Clea DuVall), Mark Lijek (Christopher Denham), Kathy Stafford (Kerry Bishé), Joe Stafford (Scooty McNairy), Bob Anders (Tate Donovan) and Lee Schatz (Rory Cochrane) owe their lives to one Antonio Joseph Mendez (Ben Affleck). Tony was or should I say is an exfiltration expert of sorts – someone who specializes in getting people out a particular troubled country and take them back home.
Why does he need to do that because the 6 of them are holed up @ the house of the Canadian Ambassador to Iran – Ken Taylor (Victor Garber). This is after the revolutionary Iranians take the US Embassy Hostage on the 4th November 1979. Our 6 diplomats escape just in the nick of time and find their way to Ambassador Taylor’s house after being rejected by a couple of other embassies.
Along with Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and Academy award winner John Chambers (John Goodman), Tony hatches a plot to make a sci-fi movie – Argo. It would be set in a middle eastern location. To ensure that there are doubts which creep up, the team does everything that a movie maker would have been expected to do from the script to the director to press releases to posters – the works.
Argo differs from most other espionage movies on two major counts. Firstly there is a distinct addition of humour that makes it easy to watch. There are almost no action sequences but enough and more of edge of the seat drama. Other than these 2 aspects there is a stunning start with a background of the revolution which grabs you by the scruff of your neck and pushes you down to your seat.
Great use of fade in and fade outs at the appropriate moments. Some really good camera work there. The use of 2 audio tracks overlapping like when the Iranians are proclaiming that severe action will be taken on the hostages and the Argo screenplay reading is being done for the press – superb!!! The screenplay is fantastic.
My prediction – Argo should get nominated in the top 10 of the year. It would get a nomination for screenplay and just maybe (an outside chance based on the Hollywood movies that I have seen this year) a nomination for direction for Affleck. If none of these work out… Argo Fuck Yourself (watch to understand). 8 on 10.
Watch the trailer at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1537319449/
And read the article on the Canadian Caper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper