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Based on a section of Master of Disguise by Antonio Mendez.

I was talking to Quilter Extraordinaire about movies, and she found out that I hadn’t seen this; I had seen trailers for it, and thought it looked interesting, but never made it to the theater to see it. I needed a movie for my stint at the Red Cross, so I borrowed it from her and watched it there

Firstly, the book it’s based on is by the actual CIA operative that Ben Affleck plays in the movie; this movie is taken from one part of the book, which is a memoir of his career in the CIA (and is the only autobiography of a CIA operative that they have endorsed, interestingly enough.)

Although I (and most people my age) remember the hostage crisis, where people were holed up in the American embassy in Iran trying desperately to keep the Iranians out, I didn’t know anything about this incident, where six Americans actually got out of the embassy and took refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador.

This movie is about the CIA and Mendez’ plan to get them out by pretending to be scouting locations for a Hollywood film in Tehran. John Goodman and Alan Arkin are his Hollywood buddies that are trying to help convince the Iranians that this is a real project.

This was great- good filmmaking, edge-of-your-seat thriller action, and because I didn’t know how it came out (I suspected that they would make it out safely, but wasn’t sure) it was really exciting. Affleck (who was angling for Serious Honey status until his career blew up) seems to be recovering from his slump, although I am not hopeful about his ability to pull off the Batman side of the new DC teamup movie…but I digress.

Affleck was good in this- not engaging, a bit wooden, but certainly worth watching.  The settings and costumes were great, it all really looked like the 70s, fun to see. And the writing was excellent, a complex plot with many intricate details was very well (and amusingly) presented so that the viewer had no trouble keeping all the places and people straight.

This one was a winner, good enough that when I came home and told Mr. Otter how much I enjoyed it and he watched it, I enjoyed seeing it a second time in the same day. You will too, watch it if you haven’t.  Thanks for loaning it to me, QE!

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