The one problem is that I could see where Affleck used artistic license. I saw a Frontline retrospective of the hostage crisis on PBS back in the 1980s. It covered these six Americans who had initially escaped the embassy takeover and all the turmoil they endured. It was amazingly tense but not nearly as intense as “Argo” portrays it. The embellishment is a bit much.
“Lincoln” produces one of the finest individual performances I have ever seen. Daniel Day Lewis was Abraham Lincoln. It’s only the second time that I’ve ever seen an actor so completely immersed in a real-life role that you believed you were watching the man and not the actor (the other was George C. Scott in “Patton”).
The story of Lincoln trying to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery is riveting. Most of us assumed the amendment passed after the Civil War ended, but actually Lincoln wanted to make sure it passed before the war’s end. One thing we discovered is that political deception and horse-trading are not new concepts.
“Lincoln” is a slow-moving but inspiring and educational film. It makes the assassination of our 16th president that much sadder since we feel we got to know him.
“Zero Dark Thirty” is another intense film that covers the efforts to track down Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. The director makes no bones about taking artistic license since much of the information about the events depicted are still classified. One claim about the movie that I just didn’t detect was that torture led directly to the killing of bin Laden. The prisoner doesn’t seem to give away any useful information until the interrogators treat him with dignity. Maybe I missed something, but that whole angle appears overblown.