Monday, January 20, 2014

Sundance debut: A Most Wanted Man based on book by John Le Carre


Making its' debut at Sundance this week is the adaptation of John LeCarre's non-Smiley novel, A Most Wanted Man directed by Anton Corbijn. There's no US release date yet so I haven't included it in this year's guide to movies based on books; hoping we come out of Sundance with more specifics.

Here's the storyline plucked from LeCarre's website - we'll have to see if the film sticks to the source or whether it's more of an inspiration rather than an adaptation.
A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse round his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.
Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client’s survival becomes more important to her than her own career. In pursuit of Issa’s mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg 
Poignant, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times."
Annabel (Rachel McAdams) with Issa (Grigorly Dobrigin)

The cast includes Rachel McAdams as the idealistic lawyer Annabel with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Gunther Bachman, the German security officer. He's clearly the lead here and as expected, he's flawless in the trailer; I don't what what Hoffman can't do except play a traditional romantic lead. Robin Wright, looking and sounding like her House of Cards character with a dye job, is Martha Sullivan- btw, some critics are saying the material would have been better served done as a Netflix series ala House of Cards - and imdb lists Daniel Bruhl (Nikki Lauder in Rush) as Max. Willem Dafoe is Brue, the scion of the failing British bank based in Hamburg. Is it just me or does Rachel McAdams seem like odd man person out in this?  Glad to see her getting the opportunity to dig into something a bit grittier than the mostly romantic fare we see - and tend to love - her in.
Grigorly Dobrigin plays the young Muslim; gotta say he looks gorgeous.

Here's the international trailer; no US release date, no poster yet. With that, I'll keep you posted.







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