Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas to check out the latest from Oliver Stone: Snowden.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. Convinced the US government's spying has gone too far, a CIA consultant steals information to expose its secrets. Snowden is awards bait at its most obvious.
Timely, contentious subject matter combines with decorated talent to peg it an early contender, but that doesn't necessarily make it a great movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is compelling as Edward Snowden, though his deliberate method of speech is nearly as distracting as his French accent was in The Walk. Rhys Ifans and Nicolas Cage turn in terrific performances as Snowden's CIA mentors, and Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, and Tom Wilkinson are fantastic as the journalists who helped break Snowden's remarkable story.
While Snowden's tale is undoubtedly fascinating, the movie seems to drag. Your attention isn't likely to wander too far, but you'll be getting mighty fidgety by the second act. A political story by default, Snowden may annoy both sides of the aisle equally.
Unlike last weekend's pristine cinema hero, Sully, Ed Snowden is no squeaky-clean good guy; his reasons were brave and selfless, but he still broke laws intended to protect the country he loves so much. Is he a heroic villian? A villianous hero? The movie asks the questions, but isn't all that convincing in its answer. Snowden is distractingly desperate for awards, but there are some great moments to be found.
A scene where a video-screen Ifans looms cartoonishly-large over Levitt's doubting Snowen is particularly effective.
The film maintains tension throughout, but a cheesy ending leaves you feeling like it was all for naught. Snowden clocks in at 134 minutes and is rated R for "language and some sexuality/nudity." Snowden is a reasonably entertaining outing, but its heavy-handedness is ultimately its downfall. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Snowden gets five and a half.
Fangirl points: Timothy Olyphant! Until next time...