I've been a fan of Ben Affleck's directorial talent ever since 2010's The Town. If you still haven't forgiven Ben Affleck for doing Daredevil or for coming up with the portmanteau "Bennifer", then Argo is for you. Although I'm not really sure if he did come up with "Bennifer", but he is equally guilty for not exerting any effort to put an end to it.
Here are the reasons why Argo is the best movie of the year. Pending the release of The Hobbit, of course.
1. Great cast
Affleck downplayed his acting here in order to let his co-stars shine. John Goodman and Alan Arkin portray Hollywood bigshots so well, and they're the only ones who can say the film's catchphrase "Argo fuck yourself" with authority. Meanwhile, on the CIA side, there's Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, as well as The Newsroom's Chris Messina, who I wish got just a little more screen time.
This film not only has a great cast, but great casting as well. There is a reason why all the familiar Hollywood faces are States-side while the six American fugitives are relative unknowns. This was meant to put us in the mindset of the American people, as embodied by Ben Affleck's character Tony Mendez, who would go out on a limb to risk his life for six people he doesn't even know. Of course, these six fugitives also have their acting moments, good enough to stress out even the most patient viewers. Plus, Kerry Bishé is pretty.
2. Great visual look
When I say "visual look", that includes everything seen onscreen, particularly the cinematography, production design, and costumes (which includes make-up). Everything on this film screams late 70s to early 80s, particularly the hair, the wardrobe, and the sets.
At first I thought Argo looked a lot like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, being set in the 70s and all. But the only thing both films have in common in the visual department is that both their costume designers are named Jacqueline.
3. Great editing
The reason that the suspense element in Argo works so well is because of the editing. The film's cadence, rhythm, and pacing all depend on the guy in the editor's chair. The final escape scene is one particular example of how to execute a proper adrenaline-pumping nail-biting sequence, and I think a bit of credit should also go to the screenwriter Chris Terrio, and of course the guy at the helm, Ben Affleck himself. And speaking of Affleck...
4. Great directing
I already mentioned this. So that's it. Bring on your next flick, Affleck. Wait, that sounds like a good pun right there. A flick by Ben Affleck should be called an "Af-flick".
Okay, that's enough.
Awards Daily"Go see my next Af-flick."
Argo. USA. 2012.
Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.
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