Ben Affleck’s CIA drama Argo premiered at the 39th Annual Telluride Film Festival, drawing largely positive reviews from those in attendance, according to Deadline. The Armageddon star’s latest directorial effort was the first flick to screen at this year’s event, a project the talented filmmaker described as a “labor of love.”
Before the screening, Affleck took a moment to address those in attendance.
“You are the first paying people to see the film. I know you didn’t literally pay, but in my heart you did,” he explained. “This is actually one of the few film festivals that really is about seeing movies instead of just walking around and talking about them.”
AceShowbiz reports that the screening was followed by an extremely positive reaction from those in attendance, much to the delight of both Affleck and Warner Bros. If the early buzz on the flick is any indication of things to come, there’s a very strong possibility the film could be a contender for a few Academy Awards.
“[The audience gave] it a 30-second sustained ovation. They also separately applauded when Affleck’s credit appeared — he not only directed but also stars in the film — and also when the names of Oscar-winner Alan Arkin and John Goodman, who play key supporting characters in the film, flashed on the screen,” Scott Feinberg wrote in The Hollywood Reporter.
Ben Affleck’s other cinematic endeavor, director Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, has received mixed reviews at the Venice film festival, according to the Calgary Herald. The film, which also stars Elizabeth Banks, is a largely silent affair from a filmmaker known for making challenging motion pictures. Not everyone was thrilled with the effort.
“However accomplished Malick’s technique might be in some ways, this mostly comes off, especially in the laborious second hour, as visual doodling without focused thematic goals,” Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote. “Currently without a distributor domestically, this ultimately enervating film will have trouble rustling up audiences in any market.”
Even if To the Wonder struggles to find an audience, at least Ben Affleck still has Argo. The film is currently slated to arrive in North American theaters on October 12.