"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, October 15, 2012

Girl of the Day - Argo!

The Regular Son and I saw Ben Affleck's Argo this weekend.   A truly excellent movie, with probably one of the most clear-eyed views of both the American CIA (bureaucratic, heroic, mostly a force for good), and the Middle East/Iran (anarchic and irrational in politics, yet far from the medieval wasteland so many Americans assume), that I've ever seen.   A serious, adult popular movie, and one that makes Affleck the Clint Eastwood of the rising generation of filmmakers.  

Argo is a true ensemble piece, with great acting in small roles by literally dozens of people.  (The one exception is Alan Arkin as a Hollywood mogul brought into the scam to create an illusion of reality surrounding a fake movie the CIA is using as a cover to rescue diplomats held in Tehran in 1980.)   The three main female roles are two of the six American diplomats who miraculously escaped, and the Iranian housekeeper for the Canadian ambassador who helped them at the risk of her own life.   The two Americans were played by Clea Duvall and Kerry Bishe, while the Iranian was played by Sheila Vand, all of whom are drabbed down to look the roles, and all of whom do terrific jobs.   (Affleck has a real touch with actors.)

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