Because Argo just won the Oscar for best picture, we watched it on pay-per-view this weekend. Even though I knew the outcome of the story, my stomach was in a knot for an hour afterward! Ben Affleck is the lead actor, the director, and one of the producers. I really liked it anyway.
I remember those awful days in 1979 and 1980 when the US embassy was overrun, and Americans were held hostage for over fourteen months. The updates of the situation on the evening news left us frustrated and angry with President Carter and the US government. Apparently the United States had no credibility until the day that Ronald Reagan took office. The hostages were then immediately freed.
Until recently, I was unfamiliar with the companion story of the six Americans who escaped during the initial rioting and hid in the Canadian ambassador’s residence. It’s fascinating. A CIA agent, his Hollywood contacts, and Canadian officials conspired to create a phony movie to provide a cover to get those six out of the country. It was an outrageous idea that had no chance of working . . .
It’s disappointing that the movie occasionally depends on the use of the F bomb for emphasis or laughs. Nevertheless, I recommend it. It’s intelligent and suspenseful. They also got the early 80s look just right. The film has an authentic grainy quality and even the title screen font looks vintage. (I had to laugh; one of the phones used in the movie is identical to the one next to my side of the bed.) Alas, we really did dress that way in the 80s, and yes, the men’s hairstyles were that bad, and the eyewear was “horrifying” according to the expert opinion of my favorite optometrist.
You’ll have to occasionally plug your ears but go, see it!