I have made a pledge this year that I would try to see all of the Oscar nominations before the award show.  I love watching the Oscars every year, but I hate that I have hardly ever seen more than one of the movies nominated.  It's hard to make a pick when you haven't seen the movies.  So this year, I'm going to do my best to see them all before February 24th.
So far, I have two down.
Les Miserables and Argo.
Last night, I dragged my friend to the theater to see a movie she had never even heard of.  What a trooper.

And here's my review...

Argo is based on the true events surrounding the hostage situation at the US Embassy in Iran in 1979-1981.  Six US citizens escaped the embassy and found refuge at the Canadian Embassy.  To avoid the Iranian Revolutionaries finding the Americans in hiding, CIA agent Tony Mendes came up with a plan to sneak them out that involved faking a Hollywood movie.

My thoughts:
Wow.  This movie had me at the edge of my seat from beginning to finish.  There was so much suspense, at some points almost too much, which I don't discredit the film for.  It made it an enjoyable movie to watch.  I think without that added suspense it would have fallen flat in places.  For a story that everyone knows (or should know) the ending to, you have to keep us biting our nails somehow.

It had the right amount of violence, which for my taste, is almost none.  It was intense, for sure.  It was an intense conflict.  They captured the intensity perfectly.  The moment when the angry mob ambushes the embassy, I had chills.  So, so, so many chills.  It felt real, without being disturbing.  That can be tricky, but they pulled it off.

This movie had the right balance of drama and comedy.  It was certainly by no means a comedy, but John Goodman and Alan Arkin really brought a lovability to the movie that counteracted all of the sadness.  All of the acting was rock solid.  They made me laugh, they made me cry, they stole my heart a little bit.

And finally, I have to say I'm so disappointed that Ben Affleck was denied the Best Director nomination.  I know he won the Golden Globe for it, as well as the Best Film, but I really wish his name was up for the Oscar.  Everything in this film was spot on.  The design, the music, the acting, the location, the way they recreated Iran of 1980, it was damn impressive.  He was robbed.

Last note. I just have to say, I love when film or literature shines a light on an event in our history that few people really know about.  I knew about the Iranian hostage conflict, but I never knew about Argo.  On top of that, I loved how this movie explained the situation between Iran and the U.S. so even if you knew nothing, you could keep up.  And if you only knew a little, you could really gather an understanding of what it was all about.  It makes you think about the conflict in the Middle East a little differently.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Go see it!