Nº2 – Argo (2012)

(Ben Affleck)

There is no possible way to talk about this movie and not talk about Oscar, it’s just impossible, this film has been the talk of the street since the day it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and until these recent days where it has taken every award that has come to it, making it even more impressive when the film itself wasn’t nominated for best director by the Oscars, something that, stadistically, has to happen for your movie to even have a chance to win the big award of the night, and now look at how the odds are, look at the awards, the guilds, the people in the street, it’s just about the favorite to win the main award of the night, and people are still pissed off about it, hell, as always, there’s always that time in the Oscar race when the sure favorite is bombarded and everyone hates its guts, everyone tries to mention it as the reason for the downfall of the Academy and the american entertainment, and sometimes the movie isn’t bad, sometimes the movie is good, sometimes the movie is great, and in a year like this, where there’s been a lot of masterpieces and great movies, I think that if we get a great movie (not a masterpiece) as the winner of the best film of the year award at the Oscars, I think it was a pretty good year overall, and a pretty good Oscar race, and a pretty good Oscar winner. What else can I say? ‘Argo’ is a great film and I’m glad if it wins over other films like ‘Lincoln’ (2012) or ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (2012), I think it’s better than those and I’m not even afraid to say so, it’s just my truth and what I think of this moment in the Oscar race.

Ben Affleck has transformed himself into a better actor and an ever better director, one that manages to proove every time that he has a wide range as a director. Let’s just remember how great and emotional was his film debut ‘Gone Baby Gone’ (2007), one of the best movies of that particular strong year of filmmaking (alongside ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007) and ‘Zodiac’ (2007), just to name two of the many many examples that can give that cinematic year), a film so deep and great that when I was seeing it I couldn’t help but see some tears appear in the corners of my eyes, just because of how life-changing the choices and the scenes in the movie are, it feels like this mistery is part of the real life, but also a deeper sense of how important is the life of our children, how important is how we raise them, our families, and above all, what makes you a good human being, what makes you think you have the right choice in your mind and not what the actual law tell us that is correct. Then came ‘The Town’ (2010), and for many it was a step down in comparison to what Ben Affleck was offering us, and it was also the first time he also starred in a film that he directed, a decission that I don’t think that it’s actually that efficient, specially when his first time is still his best and who starred there was his truly talented brother Cassey Affleck, but anyway, the thing is that this movie may seem like another run-of-the-mill heist film, but it’s so well performed and rooted in a local language and culture of where it takes place that it makes it entertaining and compelling, and while the ending is a bit dissapointing, the tense moments do make up the price of admission and I think that the supporting performance of Jeremy Renner is one of the best of the decade and the strongest in his career. And then along came ‘Argo’ (2012).

The plot of ‘Argo’ is based on real events, and yes, yes, we know that it’s not the accurate story, but the facts are there, the events happened and while not following every beat of reality, it enhances certain elements and omits others in order to win in tension, and the last half hour of this film is a tight scene in which the events are followed one after the other in an escalated manner that manage to bring something superior, one scene to be remembered among the best action sequences in which no fight nor chase is actually show on screen. Anyway, back to the story, which takes mostly place in Iran, where most of the workers in the USA embassy are held hostage in their own facilities because of a protest against the welcoming of the Sha (a cruel ruler of Iran) in the United States; but some of the people who worked there managed to escape to the house of the canadian ambassador, and they have to be rescued soon, since the people behind the hold at the embassy will soon find out that they are missing and will most probably kill them on sight. A special agent, played by Affleck, is assigned to give advice and ideas to the CIA on how to move them out of Iran as soon as possible, and due to his personal contacts, he comes up with the idea to devise a fake movie, as a plot to make them be part of a canadian film crew that comes to do location scouting in different cities and plains of Iran. Fascinating and perfect for people who love movies about making movies! Even if those movies didn’t actually exist, but they were written… and storyboarded, and had a poster… and pretty much everything except the money to shoot it.

It’s masterful in its construction, directing, editing and acting choices, it’s just impressive and good to think that we have another John Cassevetes in our hands, and while their approaches to filmmaking are in the complete oposite sides of the equation, their approach to both of their professions and how they both interact is just fascinating and something to admire. This movie will win best picture, best editing, best adapted screenplay.

Sorry for the delay and the short article, I’ve been away on a short vacation trip, tomorrow a big surprise!

9/10

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