By THOMAS BOND
Ben Affleck’s third film as a director, “Argo”, about the 1980 Iranian hostage crisis and the fake film created as a ruse to facilitate the rescue of six Americans, is undoubtedly his finest and most sure-handed offering. It’s smooth story-telling that’s gripping and balanced, offering up thrills and laughs aplenty. That he has been once again blessed with a slew of extremely talented actors is just an elegant spice on top of this superb cinematic treat. It’s a Hollywood winner that is stylistic and suspenseful in ways that so much of the boring box-office sure-bets grossly lack. Even if it lacks some of the intense bite of his “Gone Baby Gone”, it’s still Best Picture nom quality for sure, and a Best Director for Affleck, as well as a handful of other guaranteed nominations. And if I’m not mistaken, nothing seems destined to stop it from actually winning in all of these categories.