49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Searingly Poignant Film,
This review is from: Page Eight (Amazon Instant Video)David Hare both wrote and directed this stylish, intensely intelligent suspense film (his other films include work on The Hours, The Reader, Damage, Plenty, etc). Few films have been made that depend on smart dialogue and intense acting instead of explosions, car chases, and other improbable acts of danger to make their point. Aided by a top-notch British cast, Hare has created a thinking person's drama and it is refreshingly poignant.
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