Friday, October 12, 2012
It's great to see that that kid from the late 90's once thought of as Matt Damon's sidekick and star of guilty pleasures like 'Armageddon' has matured into quite the impressive actor and filmmaker. Right out of the gate, his directorial debut in 2007, 'Gone Baby Gone', Garner-ed a lot of critical praise but didn't get the full attention it deserved. (I admit I didn't fully appreciate it until my second viewing.) Three years later, 'The Town' was a bigger hit with audiences and critics alike, but didn't get the Oscar nomination some were expecting. But I think this is the year Ben Affleck finally gets nominated for Best Director, and 'Argo' will undoubtedly get nominated for Best Picture.
Based on the true story of six American diplomats trapped in Iran in 1979, Affleck plays the CIA operative determined to get them out any way he can ... Hollywood-style. With stars like Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, and Zeljko Ivanek (in his fourth major film in the last two months), you expect nothing less than great performances, and that's exactly what you get here. Affleck has proven he knows filmmaking and clearly got what he wanted. It's a film for adults in all its 70's glory, similar to last year's 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' (but much less confusing). Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for Hollywood to tell this particular story. It's fascinating, albeit a tad bit anti-climactic.