REVIEW: Argo

Argo
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Written by: Chris Terrio (screenplay), Joshuah Bearman (article)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman

I think Argo is going to win Best Picture, if the studios play their marketing cards smartly and don’t push too hard before the end of the year.  This isn’t because it’s the best movie of the year, but it’s the kind of movie that Academy voters can agree on.  It’s very suspenseful, it has a good ensemble cast decked out in ’70s hair and it’s in part about Hollywood helping rescue hostages in Iran.

Ben Affleck has been steadily building up his directing chops in his previous features Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and in leaving contemporary Boston behind here he has created his most assured movie yet.  Argo is consistently engaging, from its washed out ’70s look to its fluid, precisely orchestrated camera movements.  The first 20 minutes, where the U.S. embassy in Iran is stormed by protesters, are brilliantly conceived.

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REVIEW: City Island

City Island
Directed by: Raymond De Felitta
Written by: Raymond De Felitta
Starring: Andy Garcia, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies

Somewhere, quaintly hidden in all the bustle and busyness of New York City and the Bronx, there lies a small fishing village called City Island where the story takes place. And somewhere, quaintly hidden in all the bustle and busyness of Hollywood, there lies a small indie comedy called City Island where great laughs are harbored.

It is family melodrama at its finest, and most certainly entertaining. The film follows one family as they hide their smoking, their habits, their hobbies and their great secrets until misunderstanding after misunderstanding leads to a crescendo of  revelation and yelling. Continue reading