Thursday, 17 January 2013

Best Picture Nominee - Argo

The next nominee for Best Picture is Directed by its star, Ben Affleck, Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1997 (shared with Matt Damon) for Good Will Hunting.

Argo follows the events surrounding the taking of hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran in 1980, and the story of the six that escaped, seeking refuge with the Canadian Ambassador until a risky plot was hatched to rescue them,

I don't mind admitting that I have never really liked Ben Affleck movies, but he was actually very good in this one, the trademark arrogance was gone, it was a polished and satisfying performance. That being said he was utterly overshadowed by John Goodman and Alan Arkin, who at the grand old age of 78, was comic relief in a story that should have been very serious, his one liners made it. The performances by the six escapee's were believable and genuine, Tate Donovan (The O.C) being the most recognizable, and a great performance from Victor Garber  as Canadian Ambassador, the acting power on show was remarkable.

The direction was good, considering the director was the star, which I would imagine is not the easy way to make a movie. The script was very well written, and funny, using the strengths of those that had to deliver the lines. The story itself is a true story, so although its pretty predictable I can't really hold it against the production. The end credits however, I found remarkable. We were given almost split-screen, one side was the character in the movie and the other was the actual person, with writing saying what happened later on, it really was special, then this is just compounded by a voice over from President Jimmy Carter, a true nod to the people who lived the events of this movie.

Overall, its a good movie, great performances, well written and shot, an all rounder. The little details, like using the old Warner Brothers logo at the beginning, and all the old news footage on televisions really did a good job at making you feel like you were back in 1980. Given the nature of this movie, and the competition it has, it is debatable as to how much it deserved it Golden Globes win, but we'll let him have that. As for my dislike for Ben Affleck movies, lets just say the boy did good.

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