Amir here. There are two days left until the Oscars, but no doubt as to what name is called when the final envelope is opened at the ceremony. Argo has become a juggernaut, steamrolling through the reason with one industry award after another and is now undoubtedly in the driver's seat. As is par for the annual course, in the past few weeks, Affleck’s film has been subjected to more criticism than it probably deserves. A film that was once a successful crowd-pleaser, a surprising box-office sensation, a well-made, old-fashioned thriller, is now being touted as the best of the year by the Academy most of us hold in high regard, so naturally expectations have dramatically skyrocketed.
Recently I rewatched it, hoping to reconsider my initial opinion of the film and find the spark it’d been missing the first time around. It’s not that I disliked Argo then. Quite the opposite, I really enjoyed it. For one thing, Argo’s depiction of Tehran in the early 80s is, on the surface, dead-on. I have my bones to pick with the characterization of Iranians in the film – particularly during the Bazaar sequence – but as a native of Tehran, I have to admit I got a kick out of watching the geography, the atmosphere and the language down to every banner and chant play out so accurately. All the more impressive when you stop to consider that it wasn’t filmed in Iran at all. [More...]