{in theatres} A (very) few words about Argo

Here’s the problem with award season: As soon as Argo won two Golden Globes (for Best Picture and Best Director) last night, I lost all interest in writing about it. It’s a simple fan-girl grudge. I was rooting for other nominees in both categories. Nominees that I thought had made more interesting, more culturally necessary work.

But here’s the thing about Argo. It’s a solid, well-made thriller. My awards angst doesn’t change that delivering a tightly paced, suspenseful film is a very, very hard thing to do. And Affleck did it. Just like he’s done it twice before, with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. The man makes fine movies. So what if they stray toward the by-the-book end of the spectrum? It’s a good book (genre rules are rules for a reason), and one that many filmmakers ignore to their detriment. Affleck balances congruent storylines in multiple locations, times needed insertions of humor wisely, and ratchets up the tension like a pro. Because he is one. And maybe that’s the best word to describe his films: Professional. My friend Bryn mentioned that she would’ve liked to know a little more about the hostages and a little less about the Affleck-acted Mendez, and I agree with her. But it’s a small complaint about a very watchable film. Take it off an awards-show pedestal, and you’ll enjoy the heck outta it.

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Sarah Magill

Sarah Magill has a full-time movie habit made possible by a day-time greeting card writing gig. She blogs at Gimme Some Film and is learning to write scripts and direct. She tries to balance her screen obsession with trail running, jazz singing, book clubbing, and hanging out with The Best Golden Retriever Ever, Copa.

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