I admit it regularly – I love really silly, kind of stupid movies so picking Argo to see yesterday was an interesting choice. I was intrigued. Mostly by Ben Affleck and all his media appearances. In the end I realized that even though I was not looking forward to reliving the Iranian U.S. embassy hostage saga, I really did need to relive it but through this story. I loved knowing more about the American history of my time. This is a story not many knew about until President Clinton declassified it in 1996-97.
You get a brief, very well told timeline with animation, old film footage and photos, about why the Iranians came to hate the Shah of Iran. The brutality mixed in with westernizing just escalated. The U.S. involvement with protecting the Shah… etc. Then you are taken to that day in Tehran when the embassy was taken over. Here’s where I first cringed. How none of the hostages were killed is a wonder. Six Americans plotted to escape to the back streets. They knocked on the doors of embassies to take them in including the British but several turned them down for fear. Then oh Canada thank you thank you! And who doesn’t love Victor Garber playing the Canadian ambassador?
The good news for me was that I knew there was a great ending but still, my friend Jim and I were on the edge of our seats not thinking they would get out… get out of the bazaar, get out of the riots in their VW van, get out of the embassy without the house keeper outing them… oh and get out of the airport, past three checkpoints. I was so grateful for the comedy relief from John Goodman and Alan Arkin as the Hollywood team. Another observation: the music, including the great time for Led Zepplin’s When the Levee Breaks, the cars and the attire reflecting 1979-80.
HEADS-UP: Stay for the end through the credits. They give you updates and show the actual players involved. Just fascinating!
Of course I recommend it. Harkins Theaters in Bricktown was a great choice too. The seats where helpful through the intensity
Here’s a video of Ambassador Taylor the day after the Washington, D.C. preview event hosted by the Canadian embassy.