The new political thriller “Argo” will be released on Oct.12 following much buzz from critics.
The film follows the “Canadian Caper,” the CIA mission, in conjunction with Canadian officials, to extract six Americans from Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1980. The six had escaped from the American embassy after it was taken over by protesters of American support for the royal Shah of Iran, who had been deposed by revolutionaries a year earlier. The people remaining in the embassy were held there for 444 days.
The movie begins with the escape of the Americans into hiding at the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor’s(Victor Garber), home. Plans began to take shape at the state department of an exfiltration, after Canadian officials gave an end date for refuge.
CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck, who also directed the film) is called in to formulate a plan to retrieve the captives. The Mendez’ “best bad plan they have” is presented by his manager(Bryan Cranston) to the Secretary of State as the “Argo” plan, and the operation commences.
Mendez travels to Hollywood to establish a fake movie, studio and credentials for “Argo,” a “Star Wars” rip-off film that the six refuges, now Canadian filmmakers, are working on. After this, he enters Iran with fake Canadian passports, provided by Canada, to extract the “houseguests,” as they had come to be known.
The film is suspenseful and shows a continuation of Affleck’s skills in directing. It creates an investment for the audience in the characters, as Affleck establishes the many threats surrounding them in Tehran. The third act of the movie is non-stop and will have audiences on the edge of their seat as the refugees and Mendez make their escape. Interspersed throughout the film are lighter moments, and Affleck has described the movie as “funny, tense and heart pounding.”
The blending of scenes from Tehran, Hollywood and Washington D.C. are seamless, as the film jumps to the action happening in all three places to keep the mission on course. A surprise late in the movie ups the suspense, as the stakes increase for the group.
The movie is based on a true story. The mission was declassified in 1997 and Mendez received the CIA Intelligence Star for the operation in 1980.
The film has received high marks from critics and is expected to be a winner during the upcoming awards season, as well as becoming an early frontrunner for a Best Picture nomination. Now that fall has begun, it is officially Oscar season, and audiences can expect to see more of these smarter films in the theatres.
Alan Arkins and John Goodman also star.
“Canadian Caper” Fun Facts
– The movie used in the actual mission was called “Lord of Light.”
– Concept art used in the actual exfiltration had been for “Lord of Light” and had been drawn by Jack Kirby, co-creator of the character “Captain America.”
– The movie was called “Argo” for the ship in the story of Jason and the Argonauts.
– The production company was called “Studio Six” after the six “houseguests.”
– Jerome Calloway, a veteran Hollywood make-up artist, had worked with Mendez before in exfiltration mission. John Goodman played him in the film.