Sunday, February 17, 2013


When a film begins with the words 'based on a true story,' we're  drawn even more into the drama that unfolds. Argo is the true story of six Americans trapped in Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis.  The CIA plans to get them home by giving them fake identities as filmmakers scouting locations for a science-fiction film.

The film's story is fantastically absurd, tense, and genuine. Like fellow Best Picture nominee, Zero Dark Thirty, the protagonist is one of this country's unsung heroes. And honestly, it's not super-patriotic. The hero, Tony Mendez, is not motivated by his love of America or his hatred of Iran. He just wants to get six innocent people home safely.

The acting and casting is perfect. During the credits, photos of the actors and the people they portrayed are viewed side-by-side. The resemblances are uncanny. Alan Arkin and John Goodman, who portray Hollywood players, are hilarious together and break some of the film's tension.

I enjoyed this film because it was about the power of words. My favorite scene was when an American diplomat (pretending to be a filmmaker) tells a group of young Iranian guards the plot of his fake sci-fi movie. The film isn't even real, but he tells the story like he believes in it. Because, really, that's what film is: believing strongly in something that you know isn't real.

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