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Fair game movie reviews -- the Valerie Plame story

This week's highlighted adaptation is "Fair Game," which is based on the book by Valerie Plame, the CIA operative who was outed by the Bush administration. She and her husband, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, were caught up in political intrigue after he wrote a report about Iraq that did not support administration suspicions about that nation. Here are some excerpts from reviews:

Los Angeles Times -- [T]he hitch in "Fair Game" is that the nakedness of what was publicly done to Plame and Wilson may be more compelling than the filmmakers counted on. They chose to focus much of their efforts on how having the White House gunning for the couple affected their personal relationship, but they shouldn't have. Though that dynamic is of interest, it is frankly dwarfed by the outrage you have to feel at both the misuse of governmental power and the pro-war propaganda offensive, and that unbalances the film. The way that Plame was considered, ... "fair game" in a world of brutal realpolitik is so disturbing it overwhelms the personal drama that accompanied it.

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Roger Ebert -- What's effective is how matter-of-fact "Fair Game" is. This isn't a lathering, angry attack picture. Wilson and Plame are both seen as loyal government employees, not particularly political until they discover the wrong information. ... This topic has been so poisoned by misinformation that a rational discussion seems impossible. I suppose the question becomes, how well does "Fair Game" work as a movie? I suspect it will work better the more you walk in agreeing with it.

Entertainment Weekly -- Directed with born-again three-dimensional finesse by Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), the movie scrupulously retraces the events of the Plame affair in a way that probably won't influence anyone's political views of it one iota. Yet Fair Game, as it evolves from a spy-game mystery into an inside-the-Beltway Scenes From a Marriage, enriches our human understanding of what the politics meant.

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Associated Press -- While it's convincing as a political thriller, "Fair Game" is, in some ways, actually more intriguing as an examination of a marriage under pressure, the kind none of us could possibly imagine. Watts and [Sean] Penn ... make us feel as if we're truly watching the intimate, often uncomfortable exchanges between a husband and wife, parents of twins struggling to maintain some sense of normalcy during the most extraordinary circumstances. They're so good together, they actually make you wish "Fair Game" had dug a little deeper into their relationship. It's the rare movie that's not quite long enough.


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