Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Argo (2012)

IMDb plot summary: A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
Directed by Ben Affleck. Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman.

This is a really solid movie. I wouldn't have chosen it for Best Picture over some of the other ones I've seen from the past year, but nor am I upset by its nomination and win. It's a fun, fascinating thriller. Ben Affleck is a much more interesting director than he ever was an actor, although his acting isn't bad in this flick either. Definitely worth a watch. 4 stars.

Flickchart: #440 out of 1889, below And Now For Something Completely Different and above The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.


Travis McClain said...

I loved this when I caught it at the second-run theater in January. Definitely agree with you about Affleck being an interesting director, though I think sometimes he shows too much fealty to preconceived ideas about storytelling, particularly when it comes to suspense and paying off that suspense.

There were several scenes that felt dramatized even without having made any effort whatsoever to look into the actual accounts, but there was enough verisimilitude that only that very end chase down the runway felt too Hollywood to me. By then, though, I was so invested that I went along with it while mentally placing an asterisk beside the absurdity of cop cars 1) catching up to a plane about to take off while 2) failing to rouse the attention of anyone on the plane or 3) be affected in the least by the wake of the jet's engine exhaust once it left the runway.

It seemed far-fetched that no one would have restored air traffic control communications in time to simply instruct the pilots to return, or land somewhere else in Iran or whatever. Or, for that matter, use a phone and call another airport and have them contact the plane. Even in the 70's, communication was still possible after a plane had left an airport!

I also felt that Alan Arkin and John Goodman made each other superfluous by both being comic relief telling the same jokes. I couldn't understand Arkin being the Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominee since he didn't even stand out in his own movie.

Hannah M said...

Ha, I do definitely agree with you about the absurdity of the rush to get away at the airport. I kept thinking, "Surely they can call the plane and tell it to come back?"

That's a good point about Arkin and Goodman. Thinking back on the movie now, I can't remember much of anything either one did individually.