Tuesday Oct 09 2012
Ben Affleck does well with ‘Argo’
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
“Argo” Directed by Ben Affleck Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman Rating: Five out of five stars Ben Affleck does a great job with ‘Argo’ By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger They say that the truth shall set you free, but for a group of hostages in Iran, it was a lie that ensured their safe return home. Based on a true story, “Argo” is about how the U.S. government underwent a mission to retrieve six American hostages by faking a science-fiction movie. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a CIA agent who specialized in extractions, came up with the idea to pose as a film crew scouting locations for a movie called “Argo.” To pull of his plan, the movie had to appear legitimate so he enlisted some Hollywood help to flesh out his rouse. Affleck, directing his third feature film, has crafted a taut and engaging movie that manages to keep the humor of the situation in mind amidst the harrowing situation of the hostages. The cast is a who’s who of incredible character actors who blend perfectly into their roles. None shine brighter than Bryan Cranston, playing a CIA middle-man trying to cut through all of the red tape. In front of the camera, Affleck is understated and reserved, letting the players around him have enough time to let the movie breathe. Behind the camera, Affleck once again shows why his re-birth as a director is far more promising than his career as an actor. After Boston-centric crime movies such as “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” this was a chance to show that he could make more than one type of movie. Not only does he have more than one trick up his sleeve, Affleck could be in line for some serious awards consideration with “Argo.” Funnily enough, he already has a screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” and his next trophy could come for his behind-the-scenes work as well. If that isn’t a good indication of where Affleck should focus his energy from now on, I don’t know what is. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.