Jennie T
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My Latest Obsession: Argo

My Latest Obession: Argo

Prediction: Argo will win the Golden Globe for “Best Picture.”

It’s that good.

I can’t call the Oscars yet because Lincoln is about to hit the big screens and while Argo has so much going for it, up against Lincoln, it’s a controversial choice.

But I digress.

One of the best lines of the movie got me in trouble with my family when I couldn’t stop tweeting “#argofuckyourself” after I saw the flick. If you’ve seen the movie, you obviously know what I’m talking about and probably just repeated after me once you read that. If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to see the flick just to see Alan Arkin deliver that line. It’s more than a line…it sums up the movie and attitudes of many in the film…and yet it doesn’t.

Argo is both hard to pin down and a powerhouse. It’s a perfect example of how Hollywood can entertain and enlighten in the best possible way.  It’s a political thriller, historical drama, farce and part buddy flick. And it’s based on a true story.

I’m sure that you’ve read all kinds reviews on the movie, so I won’t focus on discussing all of the nuances of what makes this movie so incredible in traditional ways (acting, writing, directing, cinematography). Instead, I want to obsess about the little details that made this film very nostalgic for me: the details of living in America in the late 70s.

I was six when the 70s came to an end, but the decade definitely made an impression on me. So many memories came flooding back as I watched the film. There’s a scene were Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) unwraps a blue McDonald’s cheeseburger wrapper (hamburger wrappers were the red ones) and it reminded me of when my mom would treat me to a McDonald’s Happy Meal (back when McDonald’s was a treat). The closing credits to the movie are an homage to everyone who grew up in the late-70s. Star-Wars toys abound (95% of the toys that were on-screen I was lucky enough to play with) and there are enough close-up shots for you to remember just where you were when you were introduced to something that happened “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” I wish I could’ve seen a Speak & Spell, but you can’t have everything.

My dad never had a beard, but he had a hairstyle pretty close to Tony Mendez’s this-close-to-a-mullet-but-too-stylish-to-be-one ‘do when I was growing up. While the butterfly collar has been mocked in the years since it’s introduction, I do think they look sharp with a suit and I can definitely appreciate men who actually wear suits as part of their daily clothing choices. The costumes in Argo aren’t going to leap out and grab you, but they are authentic. Seeing my mom dress in fairly similar clothes also affected what I was interested in. Of course, that would all change with Madonna (to my mother’s chagrin).

I don’t remember the details of the story in Iran (again, I was around five years old at the time) that Argo focuses on, but I do remember my parents watching the news and the tone being stern. President Carter was also the first President that I can remember seeing on TV. The inclusion of news footage with Ted Koppel and others reminded me of the bits and pieces that I would get of the news either before or after watching CHiPs, Buck Rogers, The Love Boat (which was mentioned in the film), Wonder Woman and others. It was pretty incredible to view this movie as an adult, who is a politically active pop culture junkie, and also remember myself as a kid, just starting to become aware of those incredible worlds.

Thank you, Mr. Affleck.

Until next week (and my next obsession)…

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