Awards Season 2013: A Look At Ben Affleck

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC 56th BFI London Film Festival: Day 8

With the BAFTA’s having been announced and Argo being nominated seven times including for Best Film, Best Director and Actor for Ben Affleck, we have taken a look back at this actor turned director’s history.

It’s that time of the year again, the 2012-2013 film awards season is in full swing, the Golden Globes nominations have been announced and with the Oscar announcement coming soon everyone is talking about this year’s hottest contenders. One of which is Ben Affleck and his film Argo which has been nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, the film is a real-life political intelligence dramedy based on a true story which was directed and starred in by Ben Affleck, produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures (Ides of March). This hostage rescue picture follows CIA “exfiltration” operative and master of disguise Tony Mendez (Affleck), who sets out to rescue a handful of American diplomats hiding out in 1979 Tehran. Pretending to be a film location scouting crew, Mendez and a motley crew of Hollywood artists, escape artists and con-artists smuggle the six embassy workers to safety in a daring rescue. With a supporting cast that includes Oscar® winner Alan Arkin, Golden Globe winner John Goodman and Emmy® winner Bryan Cranston, Affleck’s political satire represents an “escape” into a real-world caper.

With the success of this film and his subsequent award nomination we are taking a look back at Ben’s career in which he has been recognized for his work as an actor, writer, director, and producer. He has come to prominence in the last few years with his work and has been labelled the most talented actor-turned-director since Clint Eastwood.

He made his directorial debut in 2007 with the feature “Gone Baby Gone,” for which he won several critics groups’ awards, including the Best Directorial Debut Award from the National Board of Review. He also won the Breakthrough Director of the Year Award at the 2007 Hollywood Film Festival and also co-wrote the screenplay for the film, adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel.

In 2010, he directed and starred in “The Town,” in addition to co-writing the screenplay. The film was named a Movie of the Year by the American Film Institute (AFI), and the cast won the National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble. In addition, Affleck earned a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for “The Town,” which also brought Oscar®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations to Jeremy Renner. In addition to this film also in 2010, Affleck starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones in John Wells’ drama “The Company Men.”

This summer, Affleck shot a starring role in “Runner, Runner,” directed by Brad Furman and which is slated for release next year. He is next set to direct a film about notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, in which he and Matt Damon will again team up and star in together, the film will be produced by their production company, Pearl Street Films.

Affleck first came to prominence in 1997 with the acclaimed “Good Will Hunting,” which he starred in and co-wrote with Matt Damon. For their work, they won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay, as well as a Golden Globe Award and Humanitas Prize. The following year, Affleck starred in John Madden’s Academy Award®-winning “Shakespeare in Love,” winning a SAG Award® as part of the ensemble cast.

His subsequent film credits include “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor,” both directed by Michael Bay; “Forces of Nature”; Ben Younger’s “Boiler Room”; Roger Michell’s “Changing Lanes”: “The Sum of All Fears”; the screen adaptation of Marvel Comics’ “Daredevil”; Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Girl”; and Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play.”

In 2006, Affleck earned widespread praise for his portrayal of ill-fated actor George Reeves in the noir drama “Hollywoodland.” The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where Affleck won the coveted Volpi Award for Best Actor. He also received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Actor, as well as the Best Actor Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. Affleck appeared in the ensemble casts of “Extract” and “He’s Just Not That Into You,” and starred in Kevin Macdonald’s crime thriller “State of Play,” alongside Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams.

Argo is out on Blu-ray and UV Copy on 4th March and available to pre-order now.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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