Old Spy Loves This Movie, February 4, 2008
I caught the first half of this movie on cable, and rented the DVD to see how it ended. I was enchanted, not just by the three actors (Judd whose latest is De-Lovely; Garcia from the Godfather etc; and Juckson from Pulp Fiction, The Negotiator et al), but by the over-all concept and execution.
Ignore the detractors–this is a superb story ably acted and I loved it. We in the clandestine service are quite proud of having the very highest rate of alcoholism, adultery, divorce, and suicide (I have 18 professional suicides in my professional history). I don't carry a badge, I do carry a Walther PPK Limited Edition (with a permit).
All three of these actors are gifted, but seeing Judd in this film, in contrast to her performance and complete make-over in De-Lovely, persuades me that she is one of the greatest female actors of our time and will be offering us many more superb acts with world class male actors for years to come.
This is a lovely first-rate film, and if you have lived with death and dishonor and fear including panic from time to time, this is a homecoming of sorts. Those that do not like it do not understand reality. However, to end on a humble note, spying is 90% boredom, including hours spent in hotel rooms waiting for agents to show up, and the most important skill in spying is typing–four hours for every hour of agent meeting–more if you have to transcribe the required recording of a meeting with a terrorist.
Other spy and cop/firefighter movies I have really enjoyed:
Seven (New Line Platinum Series)
The Hannibal Lecter Collection (Manhunter / The Silence of the Lambs / Hannibal)
The Departed (Widescreen Edition)
Breach (Full Screen Edition)
The Lives of Others
Pulp Fiction (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Ladder 49 (Widescreen Edition)
and of course anything with Alec Guiness in it (George Smily) and anying with Jason Bourne as the protagonist.