Monday, February 25, 2013

Best Picture: the historically inaccurate Argo

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Just a quick follow-up to my earlier post:

Jack Nicholson is such a cliché at this point (I mean, seriously?), but... Michelle Obama?

Doesn't Hollywood love Obama enough already? And while I don't really have a problem with it, or with the First Lady's message, why bring politics into it like this? (Because obviously she's political whether she likes it or not.)

Anyway, it's Argo. I haven't seen it, but I really want to. Hopefully next weekend.

And yet, I would note this, from The Atlantic's Christopher Orr:

[I]t seems more than a touch unfair that while its primary competitors, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln, have both been dogged by questions of historical accuracy, no one seems to care that large portions of Argo -- in particular the last act, featuring skin-of-the-teeth escape after skin-of-the-teeth escape -- were made up out of whole cloth. That's the advantage, I suppose, of writing about a historical event that almost no one had even heard of beforehand.

And of course there's a Canadian angle to this. Specifically, the movie snubs Canada, rewriting history by downplaying Canada's central role in the mission

Should the movie win the best picture award, [former Canadian ambassador to Iran Ken] Taylor hopes that director Ben Affleck's acceptance speech will help to rectify the film's minimization of Canada's role in the dramatic rescue of six U.S. citizens caught up in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

"I think it is a genuine concern and a very legitimate one," Mr. Taylor said in an interview today. "We worked very well with the CIA – both the Canadians in Ottawa and in Tehran."

Mr. Taylor said that, while the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency did contribute significantly to the rescue, history must reflect that it was overwhelmingly a Canadian mission.

"I wouldn't want to leave it with young Canadians that we were sort of carried along by the CIA," he said. "It was a cooperative venture and the two countries worked very well together."

But, no, there was no such mention in the acceptance speech. And so an injustice continues, all for the glory of Hollywood.

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  • like most movies the truth is stretched to make a more exciting film. I gave up Holly wood 20 plus years ago. truth is not told, the filth is unbearable, high slaries for actors who know little about acting and the last is the lives of these false people are bringing our youth to destruction

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:38 AM  

  • I haven't seen "Argo," but I'm curious as to whether it mentions anything about the CIA/MI6 coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953. If it didn't, then it's a deeply dishonest, contemptible film.
    The 1979 overthrow of the Shah, was, of course, delayed blowback from the 1953 coup.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 9:51 PM  

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