Best Picture: Argo

I have seen a lot of movies so far this year, and a lot of movies that I had never seen before as well.  None of them, short of The Avengers, can hold a candle to the movie that I saw Sunday evening: Argo.

Argo is based on declassified information from events that transpired during the American Embassy hostage situation in Tehran, Iran from 1979 to 1981, particularly focusing on the exploits of six Americans who made it out of the embassy to the Canadian Ambassadors house, and the CIA’s attempt to exfiltrate them out of the country.

The movie was directed by Ben Affleck, and for the second straight time (the other being The Town), Affleck crafts one of the more underrated movies of the year.  As maligned as he turned out to be as an actor, due to some acting choices and his personal life, Affleck is turning into one of the better directors currently available in Hollywood, and it is no wonder that Warner Bros. contacted him about the opportunity to direct The Justice League.

Argo is the kind of film where you know what is going to happen and how it is going to end, but as you are watching it, you can’t help but wonder if they might not make it at certain scenes.  That is the true sign of a well-made, suspenseful thriller.  If you doubt for a second that the characters are going to survive, the film makers, and in this case Ben Affleck, have done their jobs wonderfully.

I found the casting to be very well done across the board, from John Goodman and Alan Arkin to Victor Garber.  At the end of the movie you see pictures of the actors in character side-by-side with actual pictures of the real life persons, and many look very, very similar.

While of course not historically accurate, as the role of the CIA was increased and the Canadian involvement was scaled back, this movie nonetheless held my attentions for the full two hours and I highly, highly recommend Argo to anyone that loves a good movie of any kind.  As I tweeted Sunday night after seeing, the best non-Avengers movie I have seen in 2012.  Hands down, bar none.

For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer.  Cheers.

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