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January 16, 2013

The harrowing road to the Golden Globes


August 15th, 1972

Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt is born to a single mother in Boston who would later flee the scene.  At the hospital, young Ben meets and befriends Matthew Andronicus Damon.  The two begin work on a then untitled screenplay that they will complete and rewrite several times before being discharged from hospital.


The two best friends are admitted to an elite prep school where they deride and abuse a Jewish classmate.  Punishment is meted out by a Vicar who sentences them to portray themselves (although they switched roles, for reasons unknown to your author) alongside Brendan Fraser in the dramatic re-telling of their transgression. The boys are also permitted to choose fictional character names for this project, Damon selects “Charlie Dillon” while Affleck, in a brave and not at all bewildering move, dubs himself “Chesty Smith”. 


While filming Dazed and Confused in Texas, Affleck is known to frequent local diners in an effort to make time with area waitresses (in the hopes of engaging in sexual congress with the unwitting rubes.)  It is on such an occasion that he happens upon a customer choking to death on concurrent seasonal pies.  Mr. Affleck, shirtlessly and without hesitation, jumps into action and begins thrashing the stranger’s mid-section with the “Soul Pole”, a prop from the film.  The choking man heaves up the blockage which Affleck later confirmed was his ultimate aim (he did not take to pummelling the man, “because fatties deserve to die” as was initially and erroneously reported.)  The would-be victim turns out to be Kevin Smith, and a brand new, non-Matt Damon friendship commences.


Affleck attends the Democratic National Convention for the first time.  (Indeed he believes it to be the first time the “party” has been held, and furthermore that it is at least in part to commend his performance in Mallrats, in addition to various “farty political reasons”.)  Affleck wins Gwyneth Paltrow from James Carville in a dank, backroom baccarat game —a game in which Michael Dukakis would later be stabbed in the thigh meat by a Steve Forbes shaped assailant.  Affleck would subsequently begin “dat[ing] all up on” Mrs. Paltrow.


Affleck and Damon are declared “ultimate writers” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for penning Good Will Hunting, despite its title and content.

1998 - 2002

Affleck follows up this colossally reasonable award by starring in a confusing leg of films (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Changing Lanes, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil) written, produced, and directed by Misti and Christi Svenson, tween socialites who would later perish during an experimental and controversial cosmetic operation to surgically graft their pocket dogs to their solar plexuses in an effort to free up their hands.


Affleck is discharged from an alcohol rehabilitation facility, cap pointed frontwards, svelte and camera ready.  During bungled trade arbitration, the Boston Red Sox acquire the rights to Jennifer Lopez, the singer.  After a bloody bullpen melee with Johnny Damon (the reasons of which are to this day unclear, owing to the participants’ sub-normal speaking abilites) the Sox elect to award Lopez to Affleck for his years of unwavering support.  The couple celebrate by filming Gigli, starring Justin Bartha, who despite being mentally afflicted in real life, turns in only the 2nd best performance in recent memory.  The film is a flop.  To battle fledgling box office returns, Affleck and J.Lo unwisely star in a Beatnuts video lampooning their relationship/very existence.  


After the video, Affleck’s steadily escalating smarm-tones, and his fifth consecutive Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Actor in a film (Daredevil, Gigli, Paycheck, Surviving Christmas, Jersey Girl) the producers of Elektra (Roger Ebert had his mandible removed so he would never, ever have to review this film) decide to cut Affleck’s scenes.  Crestfallen, Affleck runs away from Hollywood forever.


But Matt Damon, fresh off back-to-back blockbusters (EuroTrip, The Brothers Grimm) future glories (The Adjustment Bureau, We Bought a Zoo) a mere glint in the hazel and pumpkin-flecked pools that he calls eyes, can stay quiet no longer.  He assembles a cabal of celebrities —including close personal friends Brad Pitt and George Clooney— to go on the offensive for his vanquished friend.  The former misdirects media attention via an international adoption spree with Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-wife, and the latter begins a rigorous spiritual cleanse wherein the fallen hero palms George’s glowing forehead for days on end to absorb something called “lumina”, an ancient Californian brand of light strength.  It totally works.


Affleck rises from the ashes like some type of mythical bird creature.  He marries Jennifer Garner in January and by August already has two adolescent daughters by her.  He stars as the de facto narrator in Smokin’ Aces, who must unpackage a whopping amount of character info right off the top of the film because that movie is not written well.  Affleck also has his first directorial effort, Gone Baby Gone, in the can.  Against all odds, it’s fantastic.  His brother KC’s unflinching portrayal of Patrick Kenzie is unflinching.  And Amy Ryan’s gritty performance gives less gritty performances a feeling of great and irrevocable shame. 

2008 - 2010

Knowing too well now the fickle nature of fame, Affleck makes a bold and unprecedented move.  He decides to torpedo his newly stellar Hollywood image (much to the chagrin of most of the cast of Ocean’s 12) in an effort to re-appropriate his persona and explore success on his own terms.  He stars in a string of films that even Wikipedia won’t display (they come up as wingdings) before directing The Town, his coup de grace.  A film so woefully silly that after its release, the major studios fall into a type of inverted bidding war, trying to pass responsibility for the film to one another like so many hot potatoes.  But it’s no use.  The movie is a hit.  Incensed that audiences thought he was making an actual film meant to be watched and enjoyed, Affleck declaims “I’m puttin’ this whole festival in mah reahview!” at its Cannes premiere, before spiking the mic to the ground (inadvertently striking Roberto Benigni in his affable little face and smashing his teeth to bits, which forensic investigators later learn are made entirely of Nazi ivory.)


Affleck co-writes and directs his opus, Argo, but this time he is determined not to be taken seriously.  He hires an Iranian national to brief him on Iran’s political system, during which he plugs his ears with his index fingers and repeats “I-am-Ches-Ty-Smiiith, I-am-Ches-Ty-Smiiiith…” in a type of parrot’s high pitched caw throughout.  He travels to New Jersey to consult with old friend and renowned Canadiophile Kevin Smith to learn about his neighbors to the North (ie gait, speech patterns, etc.) who play a central role in the film’s mission.  Smith’s teachings are Degrassi-riddled and basically useless as Affleck hoped they would be, giving him license to re-imagine the story almost entirely.  In this revision Affleck positions the part Hispanic CIA agent Antonio Mendez as the film’s “ultimate hero” (quote taken from early logline written by Affleck in a dream journal.)  And in a final Icarus-level moment of hubris, Affleck casts himself in this lead role.  His fate is sealed.


Argo takes home the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Feature.  Affleck takes home Golden Globe for Best Director.

2013 - ????