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Fil review: The Fifth Estate


What is it? Bill Condon’s thriller about WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Daniel Brühl is his assistant, Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

The Independent says: “Suffers from one very obvious and fundamental flaw. It simply can’t work out its own attitude toward its central character. The filmmakers haven’t made up their minds yet whether Assange is a visionary champion of free speech or an autocratic and ‘manipulative asshole’ (as one acquaintance styles him) with a personality skirting on the autistic side of the spectrum.”

They say: New Statesman: “It’s so superficially thrilled by the unknown potential of the internet that it goes into a spin. Graphics that would have been rejected as too absurd by  The Day Today are thrown in.”

The Guardian: “[Cumberbatch is] so magnetic as to render hopes of a two-hander redundant.  It’s a virtuoso impersonation … a lip-smacking vampire typing through the night. From a distance, he looks like a lizardy angel, courageously saving  the world; close up he squints and snuffles like a bleached, greasy mouse.”

You say: @lizgiorgi: “I went to a preview of #TheFifthEstate last night and have to say it was so well done. I even forgot I was watching the Batch!”