Warner Brothers Pictures
Argo By GeorgiaArgo was AMAZING! My mom and I saw it when I was "sick" (don't tell my teachers!) and it was definitely more educational than eight hours of school. I learned about the Middle Eastern crisis in 1980, when America stepped into Iran after they elected their first democratic leader. What's so wrong with that? The leader was giving Iran's oil back to the people and America and Russia wouldn't have that, so they stormed into Iran and gave the country a new leader. This, essentially, is what caused The Iran Hostage Crisis. But I'm sure you know about that. What America didn't know was that six diplomats escaped the American Embassy and were kept safe by Canada. The CIA decides to go in and rescue the six, and what follows is amazing!!! *WARNING: THIS MOVIE IS ALSO VERY STRESSFUL AND SLIGHTLY SCARY. THOSE WHO TEND TO SCREAM OR FAINT HAVE BEEN WARNED!*
Eventually Ben Affleck's character figures out how to get the six out: by making a fake movie and "scoping out" Iran for their movie. This is when Alan Arkin and John Goodman come in: as the producer and make-up artist of the fake, CIA-sponsored sci-fi movie. So, yes, this movie has funny parts, but it is also really, really stressful. The movie has a few short scenes reenacting The Hostage Crisis that are very, very, heart-pounding-out-of-your-chest-gripping-your-mom-like-you're-in-labor scary. SO GO SEE IT. NOW!!!
Argo by AmyBen Affleck--welcome to the great directors club.
In Argo, Mr. Affleck both directs and stars in an inspired by real events story as the undercover CIA operative who successfully extracted five American embassy employees in Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. I was eight years old when revolutionary forces invaded the American Embassy in Tehran, taking all of its employees hostage, minus the five the movie focuses on who escaped undetected that day in November 1979 only to get "stuck" hiding out, sometimes literally underground, at the Canadian Ambassador's home in Tehran.
Affleck does a brilliant job splicing real news footage with film footage to the point where the viewer sometimes can not distinguish between the two. Even though we know going in that a happy ending is pending, it shows Affleck's directing chops that you are literally in a high state of thrilling stress for almost the entire ride of the movie.
Alan Arkin and John Goodman provide superb comic relief as the shell "production company" executives Ben Affleck's Antonio Mendez character needs to round out his extraction ruse of scouting locations in Iran for an upcoming science fiction film. 2012 appears to be shaping up as Goodman's comeback year with this solid performance and his scene-stealing role in "Flight" with Denzel Washington. Personally, I've been a fan since his "Roseanne" days on television.
Georgia and I saw this in a packed multi-plex and almost all of the audience stayed until the very last credit rolled to watch the series of real news footage about the Iran Hostage scroll by. The strongest feeling that lingered with me after viewing Argo was, here we are, over thirty years post-Iranian Hostage Crisis, and the entire Middle East, not to mention Iran's continuing political threat in the region with its covetous nuclear ambitions, appears to be on the verge of tearing itself apart.
Argo offers us a sober and timely reminder of the way "revolution" can unfold and an uplifting story of the enduring truth that sometimes, one person, can make a difference.