Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
The film - with a script by David Hare (his first in 20 years) - wonderful and the cast is superb with Michael Gambon, Rachel Weisz, Judy Davis and Bill Nighy (in the main role) as an M5 Investigator (The UK's "intelligence unit).
I won't give the plot because it would spoil it. And I'll also suggest that you pass on the review titled "I'd Like Some Jazz " which really gives a lot of it away. Even the short description on the back of the DVD divulges info it's more interesting to discover as you watch the film.
This 105 minute film (yes it is 105 minutes on this DVD.. someone asked) is the "Original UK Version" so there is the F-Word - that didn't appear when it aired on PBS.
I watched this DVD knowing nothing about the film or plot and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a modern "spy/ political" film as up to dates as today's headlines.
A contemporary spy film created for BBC, the action is set in both London and Cambridge. Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy in one of his best roles to date) is an experienced MI5 officer whose boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies of a myocardial infarction: he leaves a secret file for his friend. Both men have been married to the same woman (Alice Krige) and Worricker has a grown child from his marriage, an artist Julianne Felicity Jones) who has never quite forgiven her father for leaving her mother for another woman. The file is so important that it is under surveillance by the British Intelligence (Judy Davis et al) and the Prime Minister's office (Ralph Fiennes). Worricker lives in a flat opposite a beautiful but aloof girl Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) whose brother has been murdered in the Middle East. It is the silence about Nancy's brother's death that is at the core of the file Worricker holds and with some help from Nancy he traces the truth to the point of being threatened by MI5 to be fired. The film addresses contemporary intelligence issues and techniques and the associated moral dilemmas we face today. To reveal more would be to rob the viewer of the complexity of the story.
The strong supporting cast includes Marthe Kellar in a small but pivotal role, along with Tom Hughes, Kate Burdette, Ewen Bremmer and others. This is a tense drama, exceptionally well written and acted and a welcome change from the current barrage of action flicks. Grady Harp, November 11
The cast, which is top drawer, includes Michael Gambon, who used to be Nighy's tutor at Cambridge and subsequently became his boss at MI5; Judy Davis, a rather nasty piece of goods who is his colleague and nemisis at MI5; and a still lovely and charismatic Marthe Keller, cast in the role of an old love of Nighy and possibly a professional contact, who is a source of ready cash.
Although I was totally absorbed in the story, which moves at a fast pace, the plot contained some gaps, which makes me wonder whether we on this side of the Pond have been treated to yet another truncated version to fit into the Masterpiece time slot. Furthermore, there were maddening lapses in continuity.Read more ›
The drama is riveting, and the cast is excellent. I am not a big Bill Nighy fan, but everyone else is excellent. I started watching the video at 1AM, and I could not stop watching it. I found the ending realistic and believable, despite the fact that I wished for something more satisfying from our hero's point of view. The dialogue is great. It is witty, and it is what an American Anglophile expects the British ruling class to sound like.
There is a rumor that writer/director David Hare has told some associates that if Page 8 works, he might bring Bill Nighy's character Johnny Worricker back, as part of a trilogy of TV films. I would love to see more (even with Bill Nighy).
PBS Masterpiece will air the drama next week, and has allowed two hours for the broadcast. The drama itself is only one hour and thirty-eight minutes. So, I am hopeful that PBS will broadcast the entire drama.
The only thing wrong with the DVD is the price of $23.49. This is a made for TV movie of normal TV movie length. That price is not warranted. I will wait until the price drops before I buy the DVD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I met these characters for the first time with this CD and look forward to seeing moref o them.Published 6 days ago by AnnTillinghast
This is the first installment of the cynical Johnny Worricker spys-in-politics trilogy. For best effect, see "Turks and Caicos" and "Salting the Battlefield",... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Maui Mike
The first in a series of 3. It's addictive to watch and listen to the script so you have to buy the 3 movies to experience the quality and get the plotPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
If you like anti American films this is for you. Poorly researched and very much like present day Hollywood. Silly statements throughout.Published 1 month ago by Southern Gal
Watchable but oddly low-stakes and minimal plot for a spy movie. What exactly is at risk? Slow-moving and not enough character development. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S