10 Days of Oscars: Argo

BY: VIVIAN GATICA

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Many biopics have a tendency to be rather dry and slow, but  “Argo” has received so much critical acclaim that I did not know what to expect. In fact, this film exceeded all of my expectations. It was suspenseful from beginning to end, and gave viewers a real glimpse at the disaster that was the Iranian Hostage Crisis. During President Carter’s administration, more than 50 embassy workers in Iran were taken hostage, but six of them managed to escape and hide out at the Canadian ambassador’s house. It is up to the CIA to get these six individuals back home without the Iranian coup officers catching them. CIA operative (Ben Affleck) comes up with a plan to create a fake film named “Argo”, and pretend that they are Canadian members of the crew.

It is up to Mendez to make their covers believable enough to get them past the strict Iranian airport security to get back home. If they are caught, they will be publicly humiliated and executed by the Iranians.

With unexpected twists and turns, "Argo" has viewers at the edge of their seats. It shows the true setting of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and the hostility that existed between the Iranian and American people during the crisis. The film shows just how dangerous Iran was for Americans during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

The actors were great in this movie. There was no single actor that stood out, but as a cast they were a strong group. The actors who played they six embassy workers who escaped did a great job at showing fear. They had looks of fear in their eyes that looked as if the whole crisis was happening again, and they were genuinely afraid for their lives.

Affleck did a great job at being assertive and convincing as the role of a CIA operative. John Goodman and Alan Arkin played the part of real Hollywood producers to convince the Iranians that the film was real. They provided comic relief amidst tragedy in the film. They all captured the essence perfectly of what that era was like.

The cinematography and music choice for the film were cohesive and contributed to the suspense of the film. The swarm of Iranians crowding around cars protesting and pushing the hostages around blindfolded demonstrates the aggression and anger that they have towards Americans. The music correlated with the scenery, and left the viewer anxious at what would happen next.

Considering the fact that “Argo” has a strong screenplay and cast, and is an overall great film, I think it will win the Oscar for best motion picture. It has already taken home the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Picture, and the acting ensemble won the Screen Actor’s Guild so I would be surprised if they did not take home the Academy Award.