Mon, Nov. 5th, 2012, 11:54 am || Argo (2012)

add to memories

Dear movie: when you begin with an explanatory sequence about the election of Mohammad Mosaddegh and how the US and UK plotted to overthrow him because he was limiting their access to oil, and then how the US- and UK-supported shah became increasingly tyrannical, and then describe the Iranian Revolution and the US giving political asylum to the shah and how Iranians were kind of pissed off by this and stormed the US Embassy, it really doesn't position me to be all that sympathetic to portrayals of Iranian mobs and poor scared USians holding up against the Scary Angry Muslim Hordes (tm).

(I am, hopefully obviously, also not in favor totalitarian regimes, holding embassy people hostage, and etc. It's just that Hollywood has produced quite a few things with this point of view and very few things centering on POC and critiquing USian world policy.)

Argo is a well-made movie. That said, I was bored during nearly all of it, save looking at all the period clothing and furniture. Oh, and I was vastly amused by SpyDaddy (Victor Garber) playing the Canadian ambassador. I could tell that all the last-minute drama in the movie was made up and not based on true events, because hey, Hollywood. Also, I am annoyed at all the focus on Tony Mendez instead of the six diplomats and the Canadian ambassador, particularly at the insertion of his attempts to stay in touch with his young son while he and his wife are going through a break. Of course, part of the film's conclusion is Mendez hugging his son and his (nameless, voiceless) wife as a fitting heteronormative nuclear family reward to his ordeal. Oh manpain. I am so bored by you.

(Was curious if Mendez himself ID's as white; I can't tell from Google.)

So: well-made movie that basically conforms to the "single person saves the day" narrative and "scary Muslim people" narrative. I feel like I've seen enough of these already and would much rather give my money to something that is at least trying to be a bit different. (Watched this with the family, ergo the choice of movie.)

Also saw a preview of Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis' next shot for the Oscar, Lincoln. Am very uninterested, wish the preview didn't advocate the "single great (white) man freeing the slaves out of the goodness of his heart" narrative, also would like to see a movie about slavery that daresay stars Actual Black People (tm). As opposed to, you know, a few crowd shots of black people eagerly awaiting Lincoln's words re: their fate.

... sometimes I forget how rare just passing part of the Bechdel test (and its equivalents) is. Le sigh.

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