Saturday, 17 November 2012

Ben Affleck's Thriller Has Us On The Edge Of Our Seats

We managed to find time to get to the cinema earlier in the week when we went to see Argo at Cineworld in Ipswich. I'm afraid that I'm a bit of a sucker for the critics' reviews when it comes to cinema and never bother with anything rated at less than two stars and rarely find time for a three starred film if there's a higher rated one showing. Maybe I should rethink that policy as Ben Affleck's Argo rated just three stars in the newspapers I read but, for me at least, it was possibly the best film of the year to date.

Telling the story of six escapees from the US Embassy in Iran during the hostage crisis of 1980 you would imagine that the director would find it difficult to create suspense and excitement in a story in which the ending is pre-known to the viewer. But suspense and excitement is there by the bucketful and we are kept on the edge of our seats as the escaping diplomats make it to the Canadian embassy where they hole up and await their fate while the CIA in Washington makes outlandish plans to get them out of Iran. 

Affleck not only directs but also stars in the movie as CIA agent Tony Mendez who plans to save the Americans by creating the patently ridiculous cover of a Canadian sci-fi film crew hunting for locations in Teheran. Complete with story boards, script and fake production company he heads to the Middle East. What follows is a remarkable piece of cinema as the tension is cranked up to bursting point in a race against the clock to flee the country in the certain knowledge that discovery will mean execution for all involved. 

There's humour and some relief from the nail biting in the double act of John Freeman and Alan Arkin playing the Hollywood moguls fronting the subterfuge but the overriding feeling whilst watching the movie is fear for the characters' safety. Credit to Affleck for managing to pull this off so brilliantly. How true the story is to the real life incident that it was based upon is irrelevant to me and I am happy that the director chose to create such suspenseful entertainment. He also went to tremendous lengths to recreate, authentic scenes and people - as the credits roll real footage and stills from the hostage crisis accompany similar shots from the film and it's difficult to spot which is which.

An excellent film - do try and catch it.

And speaking of films, we were delighted to see a video of our granddaughter Rose featuring on the Signs and Rhymes website. She's been going to baby signing classes for quite some time and it has been a huge help in developing her communication skills and she was able to sign plenty of words before she was able to say them. If you check out this link and click on the video on the right you can see her using her signing.

It's been a great day for us today. We awoke to this wonderful dawn and things got better as we picked up Paul, Josephine and Catherine from Edinburgh for their flying visit. It was so good to see them.