Ben Affleck. Have you heard of him? He started as an up an coming actor in the 1990s, even won an academy award for writing, but then made a series of bad choices. He followed the Paycheck, got it on with J.Lo and became an easy laughing stock of Hollywood. Basically, he became synonymous with Canada jokes. Something that is joked about to seem cool, basically.
But then something happened. He directed a movie. Gone Baby Gone and The Town were both considered great hits. Now we haveArgo, and if it is any good, it could potentially cement himself as a great director (generally you need at least 3 good movies, in a row preferably).
And if it isn’t good, well then, Argo fuck yourself.
Back in the 1960s, Iran was fucked up. The film does a great explanation to catch you up to the events at hand though. Basically, the USA helped make a military coop, put a leader in charge who was horrible but loyal to the US. Eventually Iran gt their country back and the leader was brought back to US for protection, and was dying of cancer. Iran protested under their new leader, demanding the old one be brought back to be tried for his actions, but the US refused. They rioted at the US Embassy, eventually broke in and took everyone captive. Everyone, but six individuals who were able to escape (Tate Donovan, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Kerry Bishe, Clea DuVall, Christopher Denham).
They find themselves in the house of the Canadian Ambassador, Ken Taylor (Victor Garber), and become stowaways. Unfortunately for them, the fact that they escaped puts them in more danger than those who were captured! The whole world is looking at those captured hostages, so Iran knows they cant have them killed. But people who escaped and have been hiding out? They are clearly spies and can be killed. Well, shit.
Two months later, enter the CIA. They are brought in to help extract the individuals from Iran, lead by their best man, Tony Mendez (Affleck). Unfortunately, their best idea is a long shot. He will head to Iran, pretending to be part of a Canadian film crew looking to shoot a new sci-fi movie, called Argo, there. He will teach the captives their roles and they will just leave hopefully. But first they have to make it seem real. With the help of some Hollywood big wigs (John Goodman, Alan Arkin) and the head of the CIA (Bryan Cranston) they attempt a rescue that basically seems like a suicide mission.
Tip 2 on how to be Canadian: Apologize always and often.
One thing people ask me a lot if what is my favorite movie, and every time I say Chasing Amy. Clearly I am a fan of Affleck as an actor usually, I just think he made some bad decisions in his life (the first half decade of 2000, specifically). Most people would agree that he was the bomb in Phantoms as well.
Thankfully, Affleck lived up to his hype and both directed an amazing movie, while also acting the shit out of it. First off, the way the movie set up and explained all the history before the hostage situation was really good. I was worried never hearing of the Canadian Caper before would lessen the movie for me, but they quickly set it up while also making it easy to understand. The entire film puts you into the late 1970s, everything from the looks of the actors, to the language just seems to fit.
Sure, it is true the Canadian involvement is incredible downplayed, but movies aren’t meant to be historically accurate, just entertaining. Historically accurate movies tend to be documentaries.
I think I would call Argo one of my favorite movies of 2012, which is an amazing accomplishment with all of the big movies that have already been released this year.