Before today I honestly can’t think of anything I would have had to say about Ben Affleck, good or particularly bad. He’s one of those Hollywood A-Listers that just doesn’t feature on my radar. Dunno why, he’s been (starred) in enough half decent movies to make an impression. And a lot of turkeys. A journeyman pro I guess would be my description.
Not any more.
Because Ben Affleck can direct. Boy can he direct.
Argo is tight as a drum from start to finish, features one of the most suspenseful scenes (more of a reel than a scene) that I’ve ever seen and he commands the screen as the movie’s star in such a low key way that he’s almost not there. And yet he is. Resoundingly.
Argo is almost immaculately conceived, scripted, edited, sound-tracked and acted. There are laugh out loud moments and moments of such supreme tension you just can’t bear to watch. The resolution is extraordinarily moving for two reasons. It’s majestically underplayed and the music is perfectly pitched.
The ensemble cast of six hostages, Affleck, John Goodman (back on form with some right good lines), Brian Cranston (making a bid to be America’s oldest acting superstar), Alan Arkin (really? really is that Alan Arkin?) and a bunch of smaller parts play their parts universally well.
But this is all about Ben Affleck at the end of the day. His third director’s role proper has nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for best Movie, director, supporting actor (Arkin), and screenplay; of these surely Director is within range and maybe best movie.
Anyway, my advise is, go see it and make your own mind up because IMHO this is an outstanding movie only equaled by The Master and End of Watch in 2012 (that I’ve seen).
Everything that The Master lacks in plot terms Argo delivers in spades. Argo doesn’t have the impact of a Seymour Hoffman or Joaquin Pheonix performance but it is none the worse for it.