Ben Affleck‘s Argo always looked like an interesting film: based on the recently declassified CIA files of the hostage crisis during the Iranian Revolution, it tells the story of how 6 American foreign service employees fled the US embassy during the crisis, made their way to the Canadian ambassador’s residence and then were rescued by the CIA, with assistance from the Canadian government.
Beardy Boyfriend and I awoke early on a Sunday to go see this (against his better judgement, as he rarely enjoys movies which were based on a true story, and against my better judgement after sitting through The Town), and it actually turned out to be a very suspenseful, well acted and enjoyable start to a Sunday. The central idea is that Affleck’s CIA operative (inspired by his science fiction loving son), comes up with the idea of passing the hidden embassy workers off as film crew for a Star Wars rip-off called Argo. After a humorous sequence in which all the other ideas suggested in a CIA brainstorm are rejected (bicycles in winter are a bit impractical, it’s hard to pass as foreign teacher or aid workers in a country in which all Americans have been evacuated), his idea is selected.
The film is divided into two sections: the attempt to sell the cover (the always amazing Alan Arkin, who I have loved since his turn in The Last Unicorn, plays the wise older producer who understands exactly how essential it is to make this bad science fiction movie believable) and the rescue: populated by the wonderful Victor Garber as the brave Canadian ambassador who is quietly determined to do the right thing, regardless of the consequences he may face from Iranian revolutionaries, as well as recognisable faces such as Clea DuVall and Rory Cochrane (even if the latter is hidden behind a large 70s moustache). At the end of the day, it’s certainly an inspirational message on the quiet strength of career diplomats (incredibly timely to anyone who has been following the murder of the American ambassador to Libya and reminded me greatly of the Al Qaeda attacks on American embassies) as well as keeping you on the edge of your seat. If you’re interested in an intelligent action movie, I can definitely recommend it.
Persian Rice Cookie (inspired by Yummly.com)
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup icing sugar
2 eggs (not pictured)
2 tbsp rose water
2 1/4 cups rice flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cardamon
Cream together the oil and sugar. Mix in the rosewater and baking powder. Sift in the rice flour (it has an absolutely lovely rich smell, which made it a lot of fun to bake with.) Finally, mix in the cardamon.
Heat oven to 180C and bake for about 15 minutes. It will be a very crumbly cookie, but it’s absolutely delicious (just be careful due to delicacy) and enjoy with a nice cup of tea and the nice taste of spice.