Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Today I present two movies for your consideration. Both are available on DVD. The first is Argo, the recent winner of the Best Picture Academy Award (2012, Rated R).
In 1979, revolutionaries took over the U.S. embassy in Iran, captured the personnel inside, and held them hostage. However, six people escaped unnoticed to the Canadian ambassador's residence, where they were taken in until the effort to get them out of the country came to fruition.
In reality, much of the work for this operation was performed by Canadians, but Argo focuses on CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck, who also directed), who shepherded the Americans out of Iran.
Although I knew what was going to happen, this movie had me on the edge of my seat. I really felt the tension. Technically, it's a good film, and the actors are all fine. I particularly liked the work of Alan Arkin, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.
Although this movie is not for children, I recommend watching it with your teens so they can learn about a very difficult time in America's history. Or if you're too young to remember the hostage crisis, then you should definitely watch the movie, but keep in mind that not everything happened exactly as it's portrayed.
When Favorite Young Man was born in 1980, his baby book had a section for important news events taking place at the time. I remember very clearly that the first thing I wrote was "American hostages are being held in Iran." Walter Cronkite, who was long known as the most trusted man in America, concluded his newscast on CBS each night with the number of days the hostages had been held in Iran. It was all just so horrible and frightening, but oh! how grateful we Americans were to the Canadians when we learned they had sheltered six Americans, who came home unharmed.
And Canada, I thank you again.
Argo has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.
The second movie I present today is in French, so if you don't do subtitles and don't speak French, forget about it right now. It's Rust And Bone (2012, Rated R).
Ali and his young son, Sam, live with his sister and her husband. Ali works as a bouncer at a nightclub, where he first meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). Stephanie works at a Marineland-type attraction, where she trains whales and puts on shows with them. But then because of a horrible accident with a whale, her legs are amputated above the knee.
Stephanie calls on Ali, and as he helps her recover, they embark on a sexual relationship. Ali also starts fighting for money, but not professionally. It seems to be some sort of informal "fight club" in which the winner takes home the money from betting.
I'm usually a fan of French movies, but not this one. Although I like Marion Cotillard very much and her performance is quite good, Rust And Bone didn't grab my attention until the last 15 minutes. I found the rest of it boring, and I was eager for it to end.
Ali's character is not a sympathetic one, although he improves throughout the course of the film. But at first, he hits his son when he's not ignoring him, and after he becomes involved with Stephanie, when they go on an outing, he leaves with another woman.
I didn't like the violence in the movie, nor did I care for the graphic sexuality. This movie is most definitely not for children, and I wouldn't allow teens to watch it. If you're a big Marion Cotillard fan and don't want to miss this performance, then go for it, but be prepared for a lot of violence and anger.
I cannot give Rust And Bone my seal of approval.
However, I wish you a beautiful weekend, filled with joy and perhaps some Argo.
Infinities of love,