The whole setup is so wacky and improbable that it can only dovetail into one thing: it could be true. Or as true as a Hollywood movie could get. In order to save six Americans during the Teheran hostage crisis, the CIA sends in an agent posing as a sci-fi film producer looking for a location. He'd breeze into Iran, kiss the ring of Khomeini's culture minister, and rescue the six, not sneaking or smuggling them out, but waltzing them through the falcon-grip of a tightly surveilled airport with legit boarding passes.
Ben Affleck, standing, plays a CIA agent posing as a film producer.
It's more than just a based-on-a-true story brag; this is a based-on-a-true-declassified-CIA-operation kept under wraps for nearly two decades until President Bill Clinton allowed it to be made public. And hats off to Argo, a taut, clever new film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, for deftly, constructing historical realism five minutes into the narrative and locking us into that frantic period of 1979 _ the period where we watch the Khomeini-Carter horn-locking on television and wonder if history, real history that's taking place somewhere on Earth, is always grainy and comes with a narration as it does on TV.
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