2 March 2013 12:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In Argo, Ben Affleck doesn't offer the Us more truth about itself than it can bear. Kathryn Bigelow's film is much more complex and demanding

No big prizes for working out why Argo won the Oscar for best picture this week. It is a superb movie – clever, witty, beautifully paced, brilliantly acted, exciting, suspenseful, characterful etc, etc … And, of course, it's based on the true story of how CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by director Ben Affleck) put together the "Canadian Caper", in which he faked the production of a sci-fi movie in order to rescue six Us diplomats from Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

So, crucially, it tells Americans something great about themselves – about their courage, their ingenuity, their audacity and the lengths they will go to in saving the lives of other Americans. Just what the doctor ordered, at a time when the Us has cause »

- Deborah Orr

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