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Clive James: ‘Ben Affleck has overcome the handicap of his absurd good looks’

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‘Redford got so bored by his own beauty that he would go off and direct something. Affleck probably has the same motivation, but he has a lot more directorial flair’

My copy of the 2012 Ben Affleck movie Argo lay around unwatched for a long time. A few nights ago, I fought my way in through the shrink-wrap and took a look. It revealed Affleck to be a terrific director as well as a fine actor.

That latter quality was probably the reason I had left the shrink-wrap intact for so long. In Pearl Harbor, Affleck had overcome the handicap of his absurd good looks and done a creditable job of bringing to life his role as a brave young pilot, instead of doing what the script deserved and setting fire to it before placing himself under citizen’s arrest for having signed the contract in the first place.

Related: Clive James: ‘A misprint in my new book made me feel I was contemplating the ruins of 60 years’ work’

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