Red Joan Review - Absorbing, A Captivating True Story of International Intrigue

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Red Joan, from Lionsgate and IFC Films, presents the true story of Joan Stanley, a British citizen arrested for violations of the Secrets Acts, exposed as a KGB agent who passed secrets during World War II.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, Red Joan stars Dame Judi Dench, Ben Miles, Sophie Cookson, Stephen Campbell Moore, Tereza Srbova, Tom Hughes, Freddie Gaminara, Kevin Fuller, Nina Sosanya, Lawrence Spellman. Red Joan was written by Lindsay Shapiro based on the novel of the same name by Jennie Rooney and inspired by Melita Norwood.

Red Joan begins with Joan Stanley, played by Dame Judi Dench, trimming the roses in her front yard. As she retreats to her home, the camera pans over pictures of a family, what appears to be the home of an elderly, widowed, woman. A throw on the ottoman for an afternoon nap, the newspaper laid out on the dining room table.


Breakthrough Review - A True Story That Delivers Genuine Emotion


After she prepares a cup of tea she sits and begins to read the obituary of the Head of the Foreign Office, William Mitchell, played by Freddie Gaminara.

Just then a pounding on the front door. Opening we hear with the same astonishment as Joan, by Detectives played by Nina Sosanya and Lawrence Spellman, who after confirming her identity explain she is been indicted on violations of the secrets act.

Taken into custody, the interrogations start which is when the film transitions. As the modern fades Cambridge University, 1939 appears and we meet young Joan, played by Sophie Cookson, hurrying off to classes. 

Later that evening as she is winding down for the night, a knock on her window, a fellow student, Sonya, played by Tereza Srbova, explains her room is on the third floor, if she gets caught out past curfew it would be the end of her.


The White Crow Review - Captivating, Breathtaking, Magnificent, A Must See


The next day Sonya and Joan see each other across the campus. Again, a nonchalant wave among coeds at a University where the exchange of ideas, beliefs and dreams of changing the world are welcomed, debated and encouraged. Soon they are attending meetings designed, in retrospect, to politicize and introduce them to others who have the same sympathies.

For young Joan, we meet Sonya’s cousin, Leo, played by Tom Hughes, William Mitchell, who is studying foreign affairs all gathering, weekly, which seems like what friends do. The first move of what would seem like drawing Joan into the web, of course, was Leo, who became smitten with her. We find out as Sonya become her trusted confident that Joan is unaware that Leo is leaving for Russia.

Intermittently, we return to the future, with Joan explaining life during the reign of Hitler, and it is during this moment in the future we meet her son, Nick, played by Ben Miles, a Barrister who explains William Mitchell was part of this 1939 Cambridge spy ring and they think she was also.

Back to Cambridge, Joan and Leo have loved and she left moved on as he attempted to radicalize her into becoming a spy for the KGB. She refused and left him. She began working at a science lab for Professor Max Davis, a research scientist who was working, as all allied governments were, on every Top-Secret project to stop the war by any means necessary.


The Public Review - Star Power Spotlights Plight of The Disenfranchised


Like a bad penny, Sonya and Leo continue to show up in Joan’s life. Her work with Max is continuing and the two are sent to Canada on a fact-finding mission and of course, Leo, once again attempts to seduce her out of her knowledge of the bomb.

She and Max, each dedicated to the project, work tirelessly long hours, together, she able to understand the science of atomic energy and he thrilled to be challenged intellectually by both. His affection and respect for her is so well written and well represented in the film.

The same dedication for the project, of course becomes the same drive to stop its usage. Proliferation of life as we find out becomes her driving force to see that the bomb is never used again.

Red Joan is an exceptional film. I really enjoyed it. The film begins and ends with Ms. Dench, in real-time and then throughout she introduces the next chapters of history separated in vignette style segments from the early 1930’s and 1940’s.

The cast, of course, led by Dame Judi Dench along with Sophie Cookson, Ben Miles and Stephen Campbell Moore, is solid throughout. Even as Joan is driven by a cause, she manages to live a full and rewarding life.


The Best of Enemies Review - Jarring Reality, Compelling, Powerhouse Performances


There are several scenes that are surprising and rise above the expected. In a time when women were thought of as no more intelligent than operating the latest domestic appliances, Joan is working side by side the development of the atomic bomb for the United Kingdom.

When a colleague explained he would show here where the tumble dryer was, Max Davis, the professor in charge and her supervisor, explained, her mind is to brilliant to waste on learning to operate a tumble dryer.

It was surprising, not only that someone in the 1940’s had escaped the confines of male chauvinism before the global revolution but that the writers were smart enough to understand the importance of including it.

Modernize and from prospective it is easy to see how Joan was singled out, radicalize, made to feel special, important and drawn into the web of dishonesty and treachery.

Based on the life of Melita Norwood dubbed the Granny Spy by the British tabloids, Red Joan is as fascinating as it is entertaining. An intellectually smart and intriguing film.

Red Joan opens April 19, 2019. See it.

Haute Tease

  • NUIT #1 - An Emotional Journey of Modern Encounters from Award Winning Director Anne Emond

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NUIT #1, from Canadian director Anne Emond, delves, deep and fast, into contemporary sexual encounters searching beyond the momentary pleasures of quick fix sex into the possibilities of permanency.

     
  • HL Education: College Campuses with The Highest Crime Rate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    When choosing a college most students consider academics, sports, college life, comfort, and post graduate placement percentage, few look at urban campuses verses city life and even less review crime statistics or allow the rise in campus crime to affect the final determination.

     
  • The Public Review - Star Power Spotlights Plight of The Disenfranchised

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Public, from Greenwich Entertainment, presents the story of a group of homeless who stage a sit-in, an occupy the Library, to protest the lack of shelters during a brutal, bitter, cold snap that claimed eleven lives.

     
  • Gift Guide: Great Gifts and Gets for Foodies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    If you’re looking for gift ideas for a food and drink-centric friend, co-worker or loved one, you’re in luck as I’ve cooked up a tasty assortment of items that’ll make your holiday shopping a snap. This season offers a veritable cornucopia of clever, inventive and downright delectable products like these sure to satisfy the gift giver and receiver, alike.  

  • Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool Review – Captivating; Annette Bening is Mesmerizing In this True Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, from Sony Picture Classics, presents the true story of 1950's screen siren, and Oscar winner, Gloria Grahame and her romance with Peter Turner, a man half her age, during the last years of her life.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trumps Rocky WH; Bannon Out; Nullify/SCOTUS; Spain; WWII Ship Found; Jerry Lewis/Dick Gregory

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump summoned Vice President Mike Pence back early from meeting with Panamanian leaders to stand with the beleaguered leader during his newest strategy terminating the duties of White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

     
  • World News: Algeria At The Time Of Its History

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Has Algeria finally entered its Arab Spring? As protesters' demonstration, refusing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's candidacy for presidential elections, increase, Algeria is entering a decisive turning point in its history: the age of emancipation.

     
  • A Hologram For The King Review – Finding An Oasis in the Desert of Life

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Hologram for the King, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents a new take on the proverbial fish out of water scenario, as ageing salesman Tom Hanks attempts to navigate the changing world of IT, break cultural barriers and maintain life.

     
  • Pennyworth Review - Prequel Adds Dimension, Color, and Tantalizing Evil to Batman Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pennyworth, a new streaming series from Epix TV, MGM’s premium cable network on Amazon Prime, brings to the screen the story of Alfred Pennyworth and his introduction into the world of espionage in an emerging modern London.

     
  • Giant Percussion Jazz Sound from UK’s Jack 'Swagger Mac' Featuring Skunkadelic Plus Two From The B Side

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jack 'Mac' McDougal is a vibrant, energetic musician, band leader, composer and multi-instrumental music teacher. He regularly plays with Jazz ensembles and live bands across the UK. Swagger Mac just hit the charts across the UK.

     
  • The Infiltrator Review - Solid, Sexy, Sleek, A Four Star Speedball Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Infiltrator, from Broad Green Pictures, presents the true story of DEA agent Robert "Bob" Mazur who along with Emir Abreu infiltrates the highest levels of the Medellin Cartel taking down senior lieutenants and collapsing the seventh largest global banking institution.

     
  • Health: The Most Popular Holidays to Conceive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As absentminded as you may be, one holiday you’ll always remember is your birthday. On the other hand, the date of your conception is probably the one day you try desperately to forget.  

  • Celebrity Interviews: The Cast of The Last Word Talk on The Movie, Ageism, Music, and The Future

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bleecker Street Media recently released The Last Word, a timeless story of finding the missing pieces that, through discordant beginnings, are fine tuned into melodies, that somehow finding the right blends, the harmonies, that becomes treasured memories. 

     
  • California Tour Bus Crash Kills 13; Injures 31

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A California tour bus returning from a weekend of gambling at Red Earth Casino, slammed into the back end of a semi-tractor trailer, on 1-10 in the Mojave Desert, killing thirteen including the driver and injuring at least 31 passengers.

     
  • Louder than Words Review – A Story of Hope and Heart

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Louder than Words," from Arc Entertainment and Identity Films, presents true story of the Fareri family incapacitated over the death of their child and chronicles the resurrection of hope and determination to immortalize her memory.