The true story of the rescue of six American civil service workers from Iran (who are trapped in hiding) during the 1979 Hostage crisis is material made for comic books or a black comedy for stage or film. Therefore the storyline behind Argo, Ben Affleck’s latest film depicting the events is quite remarkable. The fact that Hollywood’s version stays (for the most part) true to it may be even more remarkable.
Argo is a highly effective thriller with well placed humor that is a winner on a variety of fronts. With Argo, Affleck demonstrates he has hit full-stride as a vertically integrated filmmaker (Producer, Director, Writer and Actor) and that the fiasco’s associated with the Bennifer era are long behind in the rear view mirror and possibly gone.
Where Argo shines is that the staging, costumes and character’s physical appearance feel 1979 and true to the real thing through and through. As a note to potential viewers stay through the credits as a montage of A-B comparisons (film version vs. real life) is presented that confirms my hypothesis. What I like about the film’s Affleck makes (and those of George Clooney as well) is that although he is the lead, the film focus’ in not on him and in fact succeeds on a bevy of strong supporting characters that are well acted and a terrific storyline and script.