“The winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture will be Ben Affleck’s tense new thriller “Argo.” How do I know this? Because it is the audience favorite coming out of the top-loaded opening weekend of the Toronto Film Festival. Success at Toronto has an uncanny way of predicting Academy winners; I point you to the Best Pictures of the last five years in a row: “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” –Roger Ebert
How interesting an Academy Award season it will be if Roger Ebert’s extremely early prediction comes true. I will see “Argo” because I am inclined to like Ben Affleck as a director. “Gone Baby Gone” was a great film, made even greater by Ben’s baby brother Casey Affleck and one of the best performances of that year. “The Town” was easily one of my favorite films of 2010, with great performances from Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, and Blake Lively.
“Argo” looked interesting from the get-go, aside from Affleck’s involvement. Based on an actual true story (I say actual because this actually happened, as opposed to the “based on a true story” of say “The Possession” which was based on hearsay about a box and nothing more), the film is about six Americans who are stuck in Iran during a revolution, and hiding out at the Canadian ambassador’s house, face death if found. The U.S. government hatches a plan to streamline a fake Hollywood film in order to get into Iran, “scout locations”, and leave with the six Americans, who are to pose as the film crew.
The trailer not only looks intense and completely believable but equally humorous. Ben Affleck and the serious, life-or-death plot keep the tensions high, while actors like John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston help keep the mood light.
It will be interesting to see if Roger Ebert’s prediction comes through, especially since Ben Affleck’s ventures have only ever garnered one nomination a piece, and in the acting categories, with Amy Ryan getting Best Actress in a Supporting Role nomination in 2008 for “Gone Baby Gone” (losing to Tilda Swinton for “Michael Clayton”) and with Jeremy Renner nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2011 for “The Town” (losing to Christian Bale for “The Fighter”).
“Aside from the Oscar odds, “Argo” is just plain a terrific film.” –Roger Ebert
For the entire Roger Ebert article, visit: