Wednesday, August 13


The Film Fatales try to hunt down A Most Wanted Man. 

A Most Wanted Man. 2014. Rated R. 122 minutes. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Defoe, Grigoriy Dobrygin, and Homayoun Ershadi. Based on the novel by John le Carre. Directed by Anton Corbijn

A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. [IMDb]

Nicole: One would have hoped that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role would have been a revelation…a performance that would epitomize his stellar career as one of America’s finest actors. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Hoffman plays a misunderstood and betrayed spy who operates a highly covert small band of Hamburg spies, tasked with tracking down terrorists. By description, one might assume this involves a lot of cloak and dagger, with high-speed chases and Bond-esque high-tech trickery. A Most Wanted Man, however, is more cloak than dagger. But, that is not unusual for film adaptations of le Carre’s novels. His are quiet, cerebral dilemmas solved by navigating by tip-toe through intricate webs of deceit. And, in keeping with the tone of le Carre’s novels, Hoffman’s performance is equally quiet. 

elizabeth: All through this dull as a doorknob movie, I couldn’t get away from the fact that the brilliant Phillip Seymour Hoffman was playing a man with many addictions – addictions that plagued his real life and ultimately took his life. I was somewhat appalled and horrified that he took on this role. Then I got caught up with what responsibility should studios take when hiring actors for certain roles. He drank too much, smoked too much and ate a lot of crap. He was playing his own life. His battle with addictions was well known, so I left the theatre feeling that this role could have led to his own demise. A little overly theatrical on my part? Well, if I had to play a role that called for inhaling one herbal cigarette after another, I would be back to smoking the killer cigs. I have no doubts.

Nicole: It was, at times, tediously dull. I’m on the fence. It held my attention, certainly, but it is definitely a film I’d never watch again. No one actor stood out. The direction wasn’t spectacular, counter to what was predicted. And, the plot was less than gripping. There are certainly better stories to be told, and I’m not quite sure why Hollywood chose to make this one. 

elizabeth: I also had problems with Hoffman’s accent. I have no problems with him taking on one, but I wished he had enunciated his words. I was giving up even trying to follow the plot because I was getting annoyed.  I think the movie picked up at the end, but it was for about 57 seconds and then back to so bloody dull.  I hate blasting a movie that starred some great actors. I will give slight kudos to Defoe, McAdams and Wright and I apologize to the late Hoffman for not caring about this movie.

Nicole: I’d say, unless you’re a hardcore le Carre or Hoffman fan, wait to see this movie on DVD. Perhaps the extras will be more of a draw than the film itself. 

The Film Fatales give A MOST WANTED MAN

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