After fumbling with the severity of last year’s romantic heist The Town, director Ben Affleck takes on an even more undeserved filmmaking challenge: a dramatization of the CIA’s 1979 rescue operation of six American diplomats from a hostage situation in the Iranian capital of Tehran called Argo.
Chris Terrio, attempting a full feature script for the first time, and director Affleck are joined by a veteran of the screen and the film’s potential saving grace: Alan Arkin. The most recent of Arkin’s many explosions of critical praise was for the 2006’s offbeat and often tear-jerking comedy, Little Miss Sunshine, wherein he played to type: gruff, bawdy and golden-hearted. His most memorable role, perhaps, was as the simple George Aaronow in the modern classic Glengarry Glen Ross. Arkin’s relatively flawless record, dating back to his 1960 and ‘70s performances in Inspector Clouseau and Catch-22, are what might afford viewers confidence in a respectable adaptation of this fascinating episode in the Cold War.
Arkin’s impending roles are not limited to the high-stakes dramatic. His grandfatherly warmth will likely be channeled in the upcoming The Muppets, while he is more than likely to give co-star Ryan Reynolds a run for his money with raunchy humor in the summer’s potential champion of crass, The Change-Up.