While transferring my blog to a new host, I’ve become backlogged with posts. I’ll start off with something I’ve been meaning to write about for a few weeks: Ben Affleck’s new film Argo.
Affleck’s directorial efforts have been shockingly good. It’s amazing to backtrack just a few years and consider his reputation as these films hit theaters in this order: Daredevil, Gigli, Paycheck, Surviving Christmas, Jersey Girl, Elektra, Clerks II.
Everyone seems to agree that Argo is excellent, and I won’t say much more to echo that besides: yes, it is. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
What interested me about the film is the reaction to Affleck as its star. I recall reading murmurs about this when the film was nothing more than a trailer to the public. And this opinion started building simply because Affleck looked somewhat ridiculous. The film is set in 1979, and almost everyone looks the part save for Affleck, who seems to stumble in from the Saturday Night Live parody of the film.
His appearance isn’t so jarring in the full-length feature film, but I was still bugged by the way he stands out. Curiously, this is amplified in the closing credits, when Affleck shares archival photographs of the main players in the film. The casting, make-up and wardrobe is perfect for everyone but, yup, Ben Affleck.
I’d love to ask him about this. Does he see what I see? Are his biggest critics right and he can’t resist casting himself? Or is this more boring than we think, and Affleck simply needed to headline the film so that it would be made? There are numerous possibilities, and I am actually glad they exist: they make a seemingly silly appearance into something much more meaningful. In a film as exciting and challenging as Argo, it helps keeps our minds in the world of the film, and out of the world of that gigantic hair.