Year of release: 2010
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sam Shepard, Noah Emmerich, Michael Kelly, Bruce McGill, David Andrews, Brooke Smith, Ty Burrell, Thomas McCarthy, Tim Griffin
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Synopsis:Doug Liman has made his name as a director of big budget action films, such as "The Bourne Identity", "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Jumper", but his initial roots were in independent films, where he directed the interesting "Swingers" and "Go". "Fair Game" his latest film, has a style that tends to be closely related to the one of Paul Greengrass (another director of the "Bourne" franchise), since the style is very much documentary style. The film follows the story of Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson, between the years of 2001 and 2003. The story introduces us to Valerie, a CIA operative who is in the middle of trying to verify the escalating arms/nuclear problems in Iraq. Valerie leads a double life, since most of these are top secret operations, that obviously have to be secretive to the people in her life. Her husband, who had worked for previous governments, now works privately as a consultant. When the second invasion of Iraq occurs, propelled by wrongful information, Valerie's covert is blown. The aftermath puts her life and marriage spiraling downward.
Doug Liman has a gripping story in his hands and propels it forward, utilizing the solid and stoic performances from Naomi Watts and Sean Penn (both of whom are fantastic and have played couples before in "21 Grams" and "The Assassination of Richard Nixon"). The film mixes footage from broadcasts of the invasion of Iraq, with footage shot by Liman himself (who was the cinematographer also) in different locations, giving the film an authentic and gripping look and feel. The film is reminiscent of the conspiracy films from the 70s, in a contemporary setting, anchored by strong performances and a pacing that allows for the story and characters to truly exist. A solid film worth seeing.