A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Leading up to the second Iraq War, CIA agent Valerie Plame was put on a task force to locate weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When there is word that Saddam Hussein purchased a large amount of uranium from Niger, her boss asks if her husband Joe Wilson would be a good candidate to investigate the purchase. Since he has experience as a diplomat in the country, Valerie says he would be a good fit and Wilson is sent over. He reveals that he believes such a transaction did not take place, yet the White House ignores his report and declares war. When he sees a piece on the news about the uranium purchase he submits an op-ed piece to The New York Times entitled "What I didn't find in Africa." In retaliation to this, White House staff members Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have Valerie's cover blown and their marriage begins to fall apart as Wilson fights back. Fair Game is an effective recent events thriller from Doug Liman, who helmed The Bourne Identity. Starring Naomi Watts in a stellar performance as Plame, she affirms further that she is one of the top female talents in Hollywood. Sean Penn, despite the fact that you can almost see him licking his chops at the chance to star in a movie discrediting the Bush administration and the Iraq War, submits his usual solid work. Movies about recent events are hard to do and I admired this one for pulling it off so well. I was reminded of last year's Green Zone, also about Iraq and WMD's and directed by a Bourne helmer, and how that film just did not work. Despite the fact that Fair Game has a tendency to be preachy especially in the end, it is a fine example of how to make a movie about recent historical events.