Friday’s world premiere of “Argo” at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival carried a thoroughly Canadian feel.
“Any self-respecting Canadian of a particular age knows what happened,” said Michele Maheux, the fest’s chief operating officer, in an intro at the Roy Thomson Hall.
“This shows how it happened.”
“Argo,” directed by and starring Ben Affleck, tells the story of six U.S. citizens who escaped during the takeover of the American Embassy in Iran in 1980, found refuge as “houseguests” in the Canadian Embassy, and then hidden by Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor in his Tehran home before they were smuggled out of the country posing as a Canadian production team scouting for a sci-fi movie.
The scheme — known as the Canadian Caper — was cooked up by CIA agent Tony Mendez (portrayed by Affleck). It even involved taking out a display ad in Variety.
Taylor, played by Victor Garber, was hailed as a hero and Canadian flags were flown all over the United States.
Affleck gave extensive thanks to Garber and castmates Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, Bryan Cranston and Tate Donovan before acknowledging Warner execs Jeff Robinov, Sue Kroll, Dan Fellman and Greg Silverman and screenwriter Chris Terrio,
But he saved his most heartfelt thanks for Mendez and Taylor — “thank you, Tony and Ken, for rescuing lives” — before concluding with spouse Jennifer Garner
“Why she puts up with me, I’ll never know,” he said.