Thursday, February 17, 2011
Starring: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillipe, Kathleen Quinlan, Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert, Caroline Dhavernas, Bruce Davison, Gary Cole
Directed By: Billy Ray
Written By: Adam Mazar & William Rothco & Billy Ray
Director Of Photography: Tak Fujimoto
This film is not for everyone. It is slow. Slow enough maybe for waiting to rent it. It's an espionage thriller. A true one. So it is hard to fabricate the the story with trumped up action. Most audience members expect from a film like this that is more talk then action. In fact some of you will be bored if you are not invested in the story. Personally I found his film mesmerizing believe it or not.
I will admit it is slow and I could use words to rationalize it by saying it's moody, atmospheric or my favorite it takes it's time to tell it's story. (you will probably hear that one a lot in my reviews in general) It is all of those things. Plus it is also a glimpse into morals and honor.
The film follows Complicated and conflicted man Robert Hansen. Who sold U.S. security secrets to the Russians. The worst breach of national security ever. but why? There are many reasons maybe being passed over for a promotion too many times ? being a true patriot to show the holes in security that could be easily infiltrated ? it wasn't the money he never spent it.
What is smart about this film is the filmmaker billy ray who has covered this ground before with the story of Stephen glass the writer of for the magazine the new republic. Glass made up news stories before the whole jayson blair scandal. (which is interesting in of itself because the whole stephen glass case was publicized but he wasn't as ostrisized in the public as jayson blair. Who is black but the reason might be because the new republic isn't as famous or as wide read as the Washington post. Which blair worked for. just a nugget for you to think about.) Mr. ray seems fascinated with real people who lead double lives. Here is a man who fooled everyone. Everyone knew him as a bible and brimstone genius, devout catholic and boring. Who sold secrets of a government he loves and admires. but he traded sex videos of his wife who he adores over the internet without her knowledge of. Even taping and watched porn on his computer and frequented strip joints . No one ever suspected him for years. The government even put him in charge of a investigation to find the security leak.
I Liked how mr. ray brings us into the story and slowly reveals the truth and information of the character and the story. Just as our lead Ryan phillipe does. At first we admire this man Hansen as he has given 25years to his country. He is an intelligent grumpy old man personea. Like willy loman in death of a salesman then the heartbreak as we finally get to know the real him.
This film made me fascinated about the man. So that I even researched more about him learning a few things like learning they called him the living corpse he was highly brilliant but deadly dull in conversation. he also went to mass everyday. A big highpoint of this movie was the mesmerizing performance of chris cooper. I feel it is a career best for him. I only wish it was released in the fall. So he could be considered for best actor recognition. maybe if it was released last fall he would have given forrest whitaker some actual competition.
it's was a shame that the movie came out early in the year guaranteeing tht chris cooper's mesmerizing performance would not get recognized for awards season by the end of the year. but this is definately so far at least to me his career best. making you like a unhappy man and almost wanting him to be innocent of the charges against him.it also shows that a character can be smart and scary instead of physically scary.
Essentially the story of this film is ryan phillipe going undercover to help catch him. of course no one can know his real mission not even his wife. This begins to slowly torture his life and unravel his marriage. (His wife is played by caroline dhavernas from the show wonderfalls. It is great to see her again she is good playing a different character for her. Where english is not her frst language in this film.) As he comes to find Robert as a father figure but must do what's best for the country. The Film has many white knuckle suspense filled moments that could leave you on the edge of your seat. but the final image in the film is what will haunt you and leave you thinking about this film many times afterwards