Tuesday, November 13, 2012
3 Thoughts on Argo
1. "3 for 3" - Said by many to describe Ben Affleck's third venture behind the camera and I wholeheartedly agree. Gone Baby Gone and The Town are both solid films, but Argo is damn near perfect. I find it very easy to pick apart films, even films that I love (which is why I would never consider being a professional film critic. I would end up hating movies). After I watch a movie, I usually wait a full week before writing down "my thoughts" in order to let it really sink in. After watching Argo a full 3 weeks ago, I can't come up with a single flaw. Remember that tension filled scene in The Town where James (Jeremy Renner) runs into Doug and Claire (Ben Affleck and Rebecca Hall) as they are eating? Well, that is how this whole movie is (especially the last 20 minutes or so). I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. I thought Affleck's strength was highlighting Boston, but with Argo he proves that his real strength is story structure and creating tension. Argo is a triumph in every sense of the word.
2. "Argo fuck yourself" - I'm sure that the people who haven't seen the film are really sick of everyone quoting from it, but "Argo fuck yourself" is not only the strongest quote from the film, it's also the one that describes the film best. For a film about such a strong and polarizing historical event, it is surprisingly funny (and fantastically sarcastic). Nothing would make me happier than Alan Arkin accepting an Oscar, ending his speech with "Argo fuck yourself".
3. "Based on true events" - First of all, the fact that this crazy story happened in real life BLOWS MY MIND. Second, because it is a historical event, people are going to inevitably point out the inaccuracies. I think that people get confused about what "based on a true event" means. It doesn't necessarily mean that it is a factual account. Even though Affleck did an amazing job at making it feel like "fact" with his impeccable attention to detail, it's still a fictionalized tale of a historical event. Personally, I think Affleck did a great job of giving factual information about the event (and even offered views from both Americans and Iranians), but focused the energy of the movie on this almost heist-like plot - which is what made it a joy to watch.