Film of the Day (02/05/19): A Most Wanted Man


Written By Andrew Borvell
Directed By Anton Corbijn

Another one that had been on my list for a bit, I was apprehensive to watch this, as I was an enormous fan of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and being that it was one of his final performances, I didn’t want that to cloud my judgment of the film overall. The novel this was based on came from the same writer as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and while they share sensibilities, I found this one a bit more gripping. Maybe because it deals with my “era” of spy work, taking place in the post-9/11 world as opposed to the earlier stages of the Cold War. I really appreciate a quiet little thriller like this that can exist without action sequences or memorable set pieces and still be engaging. Part of that is the story, but a lot of it is also due to an excellent cast turning in some great work, anchored by Hoffman’s simmering performance as a German secret agent trying to follow the flow of insurgent funds up the chain of terrorist command. Terrorism creates untold amounts of collateral damage, and it’s interesting to see a script sympathize with those who get swept up in the tide, innocent of wrongdoing but pulled onto the side of those who seek to create chaos. Hoffman’s character trying to protect the pawn to get at the king was a good slant to take that made the film more interesting.

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