Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
As Oscar night creeps closer, I would love to say I am going to be in that audience. I would love to work as a seat filler just so for a moment I could sit by Jennifer Lawrence or Meryl Streep, Christoph Walz or maybe even Ben Affleck.
The closest I will ever get to these people is through the TV screen or having their latest movie in my hot little hands. And this week when Ben Affleck’s movie, Argo, comes to the home theater market, I plan to do just that.
The story is about the Iranian hostage crisis, the one that took place in 1979. Miraculously, six people managed to escape and hide in the Canadian embassy. The trick would be getting these people out along with the Ambassador, his wife, and their housekeeper.
Affleck’s character is an intelligence consultant who comes up with a crazy plan after watching a sci-fi movie on TV with his son. They will create a phony movie company and state they are searching for exotic locations for a movie like Star Wars. When they get permission to go into Iran, the pieces begin to fall into place to get these people out.
It is an incredible story, even more so because it really happened. However, the American participation had to be unknown and unacknowledged for many years. As you hear the details it becomes clear that this has to be a movie.
This movie has been winning awards from the Golden Globes, the British Academy of Film, the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild. This could be the movie that takes home the prize on Sunday night when the golden Oscars are handed out.
To me, this will be an even bigger prize for Ben Affleck. While he and Matt Damon won a statue for the screenplay of Good Will Hunting, Affleck followed that up with years of blockbuster movies that were not very good. Then there was the bad press he suffered while dating Jennifer Lopez.
That is when he made Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Gigli, and Surviving Christmas. The last one may have been one of the most unfunny movies about Christmas I have ever seen. Then in 2005, Affleck disappeared for a while. He and Jennifer broke up, he started dating Jennifer Garner while stepping out of the spotlight. It was as if he realized we were as sick of him as he might have been about himself.
Sometimes, we all need to step back, re-evaluate, and come back stronger.
Affleck did just that in a little movie called Hollywoodland in which he portrays Superman actor George Reeves who died under mysterious circumstances. For Affleck, it was a return to the artist he started out being who had matured during the time fame went to his head.
He also directed his first full-length feature with Gone Baby Gone, winning critical approval. His second movie, The Town, was also well received. Argo is his third effort that is winning awards. In his personal life, Affleck married Garner and started having kids. Nothing like having kids to truly ground you.
I am hoping on Sunday night once again Affleck will get to come on stage to win that little gold statue. I like to see people rewarded for doing good work after a period of growing and re-defining your life.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.