Directed by: Ben Affleck
Why watch: An Oscar nod for Ben Affleck the director?
The low-down: The CIA hatches an outrageous plan to spring six US embassy workers trapped in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The plan: Send in a rescue team (led by Ben Affleck) pretending to be a Canadian film crew scouting for locations for a B-grade sci-fi flick called Argo. (In Greek mythology, Argo is the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts to steal the Golden Fleece.) Seriously, who would buy that? Guess what? Someone did, ’cos the movie is based on a true story.
The buzz: So is Affleck’s third directorial gig a political thriller or a showbiz comedy? It’s both, and there lies the challenge. “I was very concerned about juggling that stuff,” says Affleck, 40. “Because I was terrified that one of these elements might corrupt the other, and the tone is one of those things that if you get it wrong, you can’t fix it later — it’s just dead.” But judging from the ebullient reaction the George Clooney-produced movie received at last month’s Toronto Film Festival, Affleck did a smashin’ good job at mixing the two genres. And now there’s talk of submitting Argo for the Oscar race. Way to go.
Opens: Nov 13