Argo: A brilliant escape caper marks the best of 2012

Some stories are so strange, so improbable that they would not make any sense if they were fictional. We want our fiction to be credible - or completely incredible - but not merely improbable. Argo, the brilliantly made film about the escape of 6 Americans from Iran after the fall of the Shah in 1979 is a thoroughly entertaining escape film that is a throwback to the spy thriller of the 70s. A long con like no other. And it works only because it is a true story (as true as any story is, that is.)

Apart from an almost-at-the-edge-of-the-seat, semi-nail-biting thrill, Argo works because in it Ben Affleck managed to create an ensamble cast of exception character artists. You can easily see that this is an actor's film. Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman (do actors of a certain age get better than that group?) all do an exceptional job with Alan Arkin pulling in a performance of the year for which he will surely be denied an Oscar.

Ben Affleck has never been a great actor and isn't a great director, yet, but he seems to have an extraordinary sensibility of what works on film. Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo. Films he has directed are certainly going somewhere great.

Argo is the best film of 2012 without a doubt, a film that will be as worth watching many years from now as it is now.