OKLAHOMA CITY, October 12, 2012— Ben Affleck, a once huge A-list actor, simply wore out his welcome. His relationship with Jennifer Lopez and his penchant for taking just about any role he was offered burned everybody out.
Since then, he laid low for a while, only taking roles in indy type movies before stepping behind the camera as a director. He first did “Gone Baby Gone” and following up with “The Town”.
Both were gritty, Boston based movies. Both were excellent.
Now he takes on his biggest challenge. His latest movie is the Best Picture Oscar contender “Argo” the untold true story of the Iranian Hostage Crisis that took place in the late 70’s and early 80’s when the US Embassy in Iran was taken over and the Americans working there were taken hostage.
Little did the Iranians know that six employees left out the back and went into hiding at the Canadian ambassador’s home.
CIA member Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a plan to get our people home safe. The CIA will fake a movie production including a poster, ads, script, producer (Alan Arkin) and make-up artist (John Goodman). The production wants to shoot in Iran.
All Mendez has to do is fly in and get the Americans out posing them as the film crew.
It’s a story that they would only come up with in Hollywood except this is actually true. President Clinton declassified the story in 1997 however it has remained under the radar of most until now.
And while Oscar season hasn’t quite kicked in, “Argo” is easily the best movie of the year so far. Affleck has established himself as a skilled.
The films first two acts set-up the conflict and the capture of the hostages, and though it is a story we mostly know, Affleck creates the tension necessary to keep it engrossing. The third act is riveting and even though we have a pretty good idea what happens, the tension is still there with the ending being strangely emotional.
The story is so Hollywood, but it only makes it better to know that it’s true. Give Affleck credit. He has risen from the ashes and revitalized his career.
You think back to movies like “Paycheck” and “Daredevil” then you watch “Argo” and you ask yourself the same question about Affleck that you ask about his character, “How in the world did he pull this off.
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