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Argo

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Argo is a well-executed thriller.  It's really as simple as that.  I was expecting to have a lot to say about the relations between Iran and the U.S. as portrayed in this movie, but I actually thought that the movie did a good job of accurately portraying the actual hostage taking and treatment, though Canada definitely gets less credit than it deserves.

The movie's strengths lie in its direction and costuming.  The tension feels manufactured much of the time, and it turns out that a lot of it is.  The most tense parts of the movie are wholecloth fabrications.  However, the movie gets the feel of the situation right, if not the details, and I'll forgive it some exaggerations as a result.

I saw this in theaters prior to its recent Oscar win, and I was surprised when I saw that it won best picture.  While it's good, it's just not a complete piece of moviemaking.  With the exception of the relatively small (and completely fictional) part played by Alan Arkin, the acting is unexceptional, and the script is merely adequate.  It was a snub that Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for Best Director, but the awards of Best Script and Best Picture must have been some sort of ridiculous compensation.

Speaking of Alan Arkin, "Argo fuck yourself" is the best line this year.

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