I didn’t realise until I was in America how many Sean Penn films I have missed because we don’t get them in the UK, or certainly not in mainstream cinemas. My favourite film in 2008 was Milk – just outstanding and yet I hear it barely registered in the UK.
So, if Sean Penn is in a movie, it starts at 8/10 before I have seen it; it will either stay there, go down it if it sucks or maybe go up, as ’Milk’ did. (NB 8/10 means I recommend the film to everyone)
Sean Penn is my generation’s Robert De Niro; translation he makes any scene he is in, fantastic.
“DFU” = Don’t f*** up.
The film is set in Washington and hovers around whether the US government did or did not find Weapons of Mass Destruction. Straight away I love how they use real news footage interspersed with the film, not a new trick but poignant here. We also see real, modern family homes being ripped apart by a bomb which really brings the point home.
The story is of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) a CIA spy but a fact obviously unknown to almost anyone but her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), a former USA Ambassador who is asked to investigate evidence of WMDs. He finds nothing but of course the Bush administration believes otherwise and so his tell-all article in the NY Times results in the end of his wife’s career as the government retaliate by exposing her cover. The film depicts not just them having to then work at keeping their marriage and family intact, which is difficult with their careers at the best of times but him trying to prove his story and saving her credibility.
The story exposes that they didn’t really know that WMD existed and goes into detail on the facts based on the CIA’s agents account.
This is powerful thriller and Penn brings the best out of all surrounding him.
Smile factor 8/10 (just because it’s superb, not because of the jokes)