Not too long ago, the Golden Globe awards were aired on TV, awarding plenty of deserving films and television shows alike. While we have to await the results of the Oscars next month, we know that “Argo” won two Golden Globes, one of which was for best motion picture in the drama category. Fortunately for the rest of us, when something wins an award like this, we typically get to see more of the film in our local theaters, and as it happens, “Argo” returned to theaters nationwide. So the main question on everyone’s mind is, did this film deserve the award it was given? In short, yes.
“Argo” tells the incredible true story of a group of brave men and women, one in particular, who risks death in a rescue mission of the century. It takes place during the Iranian Hostage Crisis that made major news in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s holding American citizens hostage at the American embassy for over an entire year. Ben Affleck plays Tony Mendez, the man with the plan. In order to save six Americans that have managed to get into hiding, he suggests putting together a fake movie, fake screenplay, fake identities for everyone, and an elaborate backstory that will ultimately get them out of their situation.
The story goes like this, Tony Mendez plans to go to Iran as a producer for a movie. He and a group of six other members of the crew to a movie called “Argo” are scouting locations for this film. Once they put together their notes, they simply board a plane and leave Iran. However, things get quite cloudy and suspenseful as the film progresses.
How many films based on a true story do you know of that depend on the fact that it is a true story? Does the movie work on its own, or does it need that extra element to give it a boost? For the most part, movies based on true stories really do need that extra element, and it is unfortunate. However, “Argo” didn’t ever need to tell the audience that it was based off of a true story. It helps heighten the level of suspense and awe, but just the idea alone is original and very interesting. The way it is compiled together will grind your teeth at the level of unforgiving suspense, because in real life it was a risk. They were gambling with their lives, and you can feel that when you watch this movie. Somehow you have no idea what is going to happen in the movie regardless of how much you know about the true story. It really is riveting.
Ben Affleck has been critiqued rather negatively through his life attacking his abilities in acting, but it has become steadily more obvious that his talents in directing are superb. He knows how to pick a project when he sits at the director’s chair. His acting in the film was also fantastic, as were all of the performances. It would be a crime not to note how well Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Victor Garber played their part, but at the same time it isn’t so much of a surprise given their extensive history of film.
Also note that the casting supervisor knew exactly what they were doing, as did the person responsible for the camera work. When the film eventually gives the audience comparative shots of the movie and real people and events, you can tell then, if you couldn’t already, that it was spot on. Everything about this film from beginning to end was done incredibly well. There may be parts here and there during the middle of the film that feel slower, failing to get to the point, but those are very slim to none at all.
“Argo” is still in theaters today, so make sure you check this out before it leaves!