By Lane Roberts
Based on a true account of events, Argo chronicles the covert operation to rescue six American diplomats who were forced to take shelter in the home of the Canadian Ambassador during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
Ben Affleck stars as Tony Mendez, an American CIA agent who, along with the Canadian government, leads an operation, later called the “Canadian Caper,” in which a fake film crew is sent to the Middle East under the pretense of searching for exotic locations to film their science fiction movie, “Argo.”
What ensues is the miraculous true story of how their unbelievable plan comes to life and ultimately succeeds.
Affleck, who also directed, is joined by John Goodman as John Chambers, a make-up artist. Alan Arkin, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Argo, plays film producer Lester Siegal.
The film garnered an additional six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture; however, Affleck was snubbed in the Best Director category despite having been nominated for the BAFTA award, Golden Globe and Satellite Award, among others.
After receiving tremendous support following his directorial effort in The Town, Affleck continues his masterful work in Argo.
Shifting between locations in Hollywood, Iran, the CIA Headquarters and the White House, he is flawless both behind and in front of the camera. He delivers a story that is both historically accurate and deliciously compelling.
Coupled with rich characters and stellar acting performances, Argo is sure to leave audiences on the edge of their seats, even if they were previously aware of the historically recorded outcome.
Most surprising about the film is the lightness with which the topic is treated despite the seriousness of the situation being recounted.
Achieved by Arkin and Goodman’s incredible comedic timing, the movie is remarkably funny at times without ever losing sight of the kind of film it intends to be.
“If I’m going to make a fake movie,” insists Arkin’s character Siegal, “it’s going to be a fake hit.”
There is no doubt that Argo, a thriller about a fake film, is a true hit.