Run time: 134 mins
Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson, Melissa Leo, Joely Richardson
Synopsis: The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press
Screening types: 2D
Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Wall Street (1991), JFK (1992) and Nixon (1995) to the big screen, tackles what is arguably the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century – Snowden.
Edward Snowden is the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the National Security Agency (NSA) and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a career-best performance, shedding fascinating new light on the journey of the man behind the global news story. A top-notch supporting cast includes Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend and voice of his conscience, Rhys Ifans as his CIA handler, Melissa Leo as Laura Poitras – who made the 2015 Snowden Oscar winning documentary, Citizenfour (2015) – and Tom Wilkinson as Guardian journalist Ewen MacAskill.
Oliver Stone is a perfect fit for this incredible political thriller and has skilfully marshalled its complex threads into a compelling narrative thriller telling the true story of the controversial US whistle-blower.
The unlikeliest of political crusaders, Edward Snowden, in Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal, is a strait-laced, conservative young man who is eager to serve his country. Unfortunately, poor health puts paid to his army career, so he joins the CIA, which soon finds a use for his computing skills. But it is his work with the NSA that leaves him shocked when he uncovers the extraordinary extent of US global surveillance and decides to go public by leaking classified documents.
No matter which side you are on, this epic account of why Snowden did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.
Images courtesy of Vertigo Releasing