Slipping underneath the titanic super movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the recently released film Fair Game. The film has apparently been doing the film contest circuit for a while and is just now being given to the public. Considering its won a pile of awards already, it’s no surprise that this movie is definitely worth seeing.
The movie follows the real life story of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), a CIA agent whose main responsibility was to apparently kidnap people then talk to them firmly. Her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) is some sort of financial consultant and former ambassador to a small African country. Penn uses his connection to help the CIA discover that the small country is not supplying uranium to Saddam Hussein, thus helping prove that he does not have weapons of mass destruction. However, the White House manipulates the data presented and uses it as grounds to go to war. After finding out the war was bogus, Penn decides to write an editorial to the New York Times. Some evil White House guys don’t like the fact that they just got called out on their crap, so in retaliation they tell the whole world that the guy’s wife is a female James Bond. Then the audience gets to watch their lives collapse.
The acting in this film is nothing short of spectacular. Penn delivers a stunning performance of a man who is outraged at the actions of his government but at the same time does not want to hurt his family. Watts portrays the pain of someone losing everything they’ve worked their entire life to build only to have it taken away from them. The on-screen chemistry is like one of those model volcanoes kids build for science class. It’s interesting, fun to watch and always combines perfectly.
The only hairline issue the film has is the shaky camera. In movies like Bourne Identity shaky cameras can build a sense of intensity during chase scenes and fights. In films like Paranormal Activity the camera can make it feel more real, as if someone just found this thing and for some reason was trying to make a profit off it. In Fair Game however, the shaky camera shows up for scenes of people talking. The effect makes it really hard to concentrate on the conversations at times as the audience tries not to throw up.
Though, the shaky camera really does add to the films only real actions scene. One of the characters is trying to navigate a post-invasion Iraq with his son when shooting breaks out. The camera helps add to the intensity of the scene and really gives the feel of being confused, scared and in the middle of something bad.
Overall, the film is a masterpiece. It will definitely be a contender in the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and when they run out of things to give it, Best Animated Film.
Fair Game is rated PG-13 for some language and for watching Iraq get bombed from ground level.