ArgoFeature Film | Ben Affleck By Kristy Puchko
Affleck's best film yet.
Actor-turned-director Ben Affleck tackles his most ambitious project yet with Argo, a historical drama that unravels the stranger-than-fiction story that played out behind the scenes during the Iran hostage crisis. Affleck stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA agent whose specialty is extracting people from volatile countries. When enraged Iranians took siege of the U.S. embassy in 1979, six of the office's American workers snuck out and went into hiding with the help of the heroic Canadian embassy. It was Mendez who came up with the preposterous plan ("the best bad idea we have") to sneak the Americans out of Iran by making them part of a film crew for a movie that would never be made called "Argo." The true story of their extraction was only declassified in 1997, and screenwriter Chris Terrio takes audiences from the bustling offices of Washington D.C. to the bull-shitting brunches of Hollywood to the riotous streets of Tehran without missing a beat. Argo is a fascinating thriller that fires on all engines, managing to be incredibly tense, yet sharply funny and above all deeply moving.
Affleck brings together an incredible team in front of and behind the camera to create one of the best movies of the year, a fully immersive experience that embeds audiences in the thick of the action with powerful performances, kinetic cinematography, and a seat-rattling sound design. The cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman, is extraordinary, and their combined efforts are sure to make Argo a film that will be remembered in award season and far beyond. And with this drama Affleck cements himself as a great filmmaker, blending a handheld shooting style that again and again throws us headlong into the Americans plight with a thrumming sound design that envelops us and makes it all too real. In short, Argo is stupendous, a not to be missed cinematic event.