When I see a movie in theaters, I will write the five things you need to know about it.
5 Things You Need to Know About…
1. Argo will be adorned with many Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.
2. Ben Affleck just took THE LEAP as a filmmaker. After the two Boston/crime-centered definite successes of Gone Baby Gone (slightly underrated) and The Town (it may be slightly overrated), Argo is a high caliber movie that delivers in every scene, every detail, every performance, every nuance, every beat, every 1980s period hair piece and costume, and every shot of original Kenner Star Wars figures. My fast-becoming go to film purveyor (and rightly self-professed movie cinematrician) Zach Baron, chronicles a career comeback for Mr. Affleck who has been to the bottom of a fiery pit (Gigli, Daredevil) and has come out as a filmmaker of skill, artistry, and unquestionable talent. Argo is a crowning achievement and, unlike the distance that Paul Thomas Anderson creates between most viewers and The Master, Affleck gives the masses a front row seat to a movie of both unquestionable weight and brilliant execution.
3. There are a staggering number of great film and television actors in small supporting roles in this movie that amount to consistent scene stealing and unheard of structural support. The list includes Victor Garber (Alias as Mr. Affleck’s beautiful wife’s television dad), Bryan Cranston (the breath of this man’s ability ceases to amaze), Titus Welliver (who I remember fondly as the Man in Black on Lost), Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor is a television icon), Zeljko Ivanek (always good for some intense power sneering), Chris Messina (a scene stealer from Fox’s ready for primetime new comedy, The Mindy Project), John Goodman (having a blast), Alan Arkin (having even more of a blast), Christopher Stanley (freed from the marital hell that is Betty Draper), and Bob Gunton (the warden from Shawshank who I have yet to have forgiven).
4. When a movie is “based on a true story” that is both actually worth telling and not so ubiquitous that it feels fresh, I am elated. Argo is an incredible tale that fits the cinematic medium oh so well. Declassified by President Clinton in 1997 almost twenty years after the actual events, this lost CIA triumph resonates in 2012 with vitality and ease. It works for those who lived through the 444 day Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979-1981, or, if you are like me and were not yet born during the late Carter administration, Argo is a most effective way to experience this essential modern American history.
5. Argo is a movie (disguised as a film), but, if the Academy Awards bring more than just nominations for this “based on a true story” work of genius, Argo could become a motion picture by February/March of 2013.
David J. Bloom can be reached on twitter @davidbloom7 and writes about pop culture and the NBA for Bishop and Company. His weekly X Factor column appears on the Afterblog at Afterbuzztv.com.