Tuesday, December 23, 2014

(#83-1) December 23 2014. A very real world—one I have more than a little familiarity with—turned into an exceptional movie.





A Most Wanted Man Poster.jpg

This is my kind of movie—intelligent, thoughtful, exciting, beautifully acted and directed (by Anton Corbijn).

It was made for only $15 million. As they say,  ‘The money was all on the screen.’ A tour de force!

Everyone in it was excellent—but I was struck, once again, by how much I like William Dafoe and Robin Wright. They are a credit to American acting and cinema. As for Hoffman—he was never better.

The movie also makes a rather fundamental point about counter-terrorism—but there I’ll stop. Best you see it for yourself.

Hoffman’s great strength was that he managed to get right into the humanity of a role. When he is on screen, you see a real human being—even though the roles he acted were very different.

The downside is that creativity takes a toll. Is it higher for actors that writers? I don’t profess to know. What I do know is that what looks easy and natural, is damnably hard.

I rarely mourn celebrities—I guess I was exposed to too many earlier in my life—but I do deeply regret the passing of truly great talent.

Hoffman was just such a talent.

Here is the paradox. We have marginalized artistic creativity. We make obeisance to work. We ignore the fact that work without entertainment would be intolerable in all too many cases (though it shouldn’t be).

We need to think of the whole thing holistically. But, I’m a writer so clearly I am biased.

That doesn’t make me wrong. In truth it reflects no more, and no less, than what I believe.

I’m drifting from the main point. This is what Wikipedia says about the movie. Go see the thing. It’s terrific!

A Most Wanted Man is a 2014 British espionage-thriller film based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré, directed by Anton Corbijn and written by Andrew Bovell.[7] The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams,Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl and Nina Hoss. It premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival[8] and competed in the main competition section of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival[9] and the 40th Deauville American Film Festival. It is the last of Hoffman's films released in his lifetime.


Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a refugee from Chechnya, enters Hamburg, Germany, illegally. Günther Bachmann (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a German espionage agent, leads a team that seeks to develop intelligence from the localMuslim community. The team learns of Karpov's presence from CCTV footage and confirms from Russian intelligence that he is considered to be a potentially dangerous terrorist. Bachmann's team also tracks the activities of a local Muslim philanthropist, Dr. Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), who is believed to be funneling funds to terrorist activities, though the team is unable to prove this. German security official Mohr (Rainer Bock) and American diplomatic attache Sullivan (Robin Wright) both take interest in the two cases.

VOR words c.550.

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