“Argo” is fantastic. From beginning to end it is a well-paced film, based on a true story, recounting the events of the Iran hostage crisis. Ben Affleck is CIA specialist, Tony Mendez, who comes up with the “best bad idea” to bring a group of hostages back to America. He decides that the hostages will be a film crew making a fake sci-fi movie - Argo - scouting locations, including Iran. It's an idea so crazy, it just might work.
The movie takes on a very serious, intense situation and gives empathy to the characters, injects necessary humor and keeps the dialogue moving; it is a two-hour movie that never drags. There are points where you are holding your breath, on the verge of tears because you are inside the world that the movie has created.
I give big kudos to director/star Ben Affleck who has proven that is he is more than capable of being on both sides of the camera. He creates realistic scenes to the story, but more importantly he creates characters that you identify with, whether you dislike them, feel sorry for or end up rooting for them, the point is that he doesn’t create characters you forget about them seconds later. By the end of this movie, you’ll remember the turning point. You'll remember the character that turned it all around.
This movie will be nominated for Oscars, plural, come awards season. Bryan Cranston is fantastic, and I loved seeing Chris Messina, who is in pretty much everything this year, in his supporting role. Victor Garber plays the Canadian ambassador to Iran who houses the hostages and is calm in the face of a very hostile situation. There were cheers in the theater for John Goodman who along with Alan Arkin were quite the duo full of lovable charisma and real gumption who both provided pivotal roles for the story.
The movie was well-cast, well thought out, well-timed and well, that’s about all I need to say about it. Go see it. You won’t regret it.
Final rating: Loved it (Hope Ben Affleck wins an Oscar)