Ben Affleck's historical thriller 'Argo' tells a strange but true story

Ben Affleck directs and stars in the film 'Argo,' which relates the crazy-but-true story of how six Americans escaped during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Ben Affleck stars in as 'exfiltration' specialist Tony Mendez.

Ben Affleck is hoping to go 3-for-3 on his directorial efforts with this fall’s “based on true events” historical CIA thriller, Argo – and judging by the official trailer, he appears to have pulled off that hat trick.

Argo features an admirable cast that is headed by Affleck, alongside people like Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), John Goodman (The Artist), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Clea DuVall (Girl, Interrupted), Victor Garber (Alias) and Adrienne Barbeau (Carnivàle) – all dressed and groomed to look like relics of the 1970s, with impeccable attention to detail on a par with a TV show like Mad Men.

Joshuah Berman’s article about the 1979 Iranian revolution from Wired Magazine is the basis for Chris Terrio’s Argo script, wherein six American members of the country’s U.S. embassy manage to seek refuge in the home of a Canadian ambassador – after Iranian militants storm the establishment. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are discovered and killed, a team of CIA agents rattle their brains, in an effort to come up with a rescue plan.

“Exfiltration” specialist Tony Mendez (Affleck) finally comes up with the “best bad idea” possible: collaborate with some Hollywood heavyweights (Goodman, Arkin), in order to create the illusion that Mendez and his fellow agents are actually members of a big-time, sci-fi blockbuster production (titled “Argo”) who are scouting out shooting locations in Iran – as a cover for their high-stakes rescue operation.

The trailer makes Argo look pretty entertaining – like a historical thriller along the lines of Munich, but also part caper flick in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven or The Italian Job. Besides the great cast, the film also boasts grainy cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto (25th Hour) that resembles that of an actual movie made in the ’70s – along with convincing period hair stylings overseen by Kelvin R. Trahan (Zodiac) and set design from Oscar-nominee Jan Pascale (Good Night, and Good Luck and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – quite the pairing, eh?).

Will Argo land Affleck the director more attention during awards season – especially, since he now has two critically-acclaimed titles (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) under his belt? If nothing else, early signs are encouraging.

Argo arrives in theaters around the U.S. on October 12th, 2012.

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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