In 1979, several Americans fled the American embassy in Iran and hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador. The CIA launched a very unusual mission to retrieve them, part of which involved setting up a fake movie that would shoot on location in Iran. Capitalizing on the Sci-Fi movie craze that exploded after the original "Star Wars," the fake movie production team optioned a real script called "Argo." They hired a producer, director, and a film crew. The operation was unorthodox and highly risky...but did it pay off?
Ben Affleck shows that he is truly gifted behind the camera with the way he builds tension into a story whose outcome is widely known. The climax is the very definition of edge-of-your-seat moviemaking. The cast is terrific across the board, with John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, and Affleck himself all delivering excellent performances. The production design is spot-on, from the smallest stitch of clothing to the tiniest on-set props. Affleck manages, along with his cinematographer Rodrigo Pieto, to give the visual element of the film a slightly vintage look, almost like the movie was made in 1979-1980.
This is a tight drama, with a very good script. I rate it 93/100. Out of the Best Picture nominees, I rank it 3rd. I highly recommend it.
Argo is playing locally at AMC New Lenox Showplace, and will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD this Tuesday, 2/19.