Sponsored by the Gruber Family Foundation
Directed by Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Clea DuVall
Produced by: Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
SPECIAL PREMIERE • In the grand tradition of 1970s espionage thrillers, actor-director Ben Affleck has crafted an unflinchingly tense caper film, which follows the real-life exploits of CIA agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) as he attempts to free a small group of US Embassy workers trapped in Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979–81. Mendez concocts the mad-genius scheme of creating a phony film production (the titular Star Wars rip-off) in order to “exfil” the Americans out of the country by having them pose as the movie’s Canadian crew. While even the opening credits are delightfully retro, Argo is still very much of the moment, especially given the ongoing tensions between Iran and the West. It’s a thorny subject to be sure, but Affleck never oversimplifies, instead choosing to focus on the human toll of international strife. In doing so, he’s created a masterful blend of Hollywood farce, political potboiler and family drama.
Film Note Writer: Michelle Devereaux