Friday 31 August 2007
Director Billy Ray is attracted to portraits of men with something to hide. In his first movie, Shattered Glass, he picked apart a New Republic journalist's paper trail of bogus news stories. In Breach he addresses another real-life case involving the rather more serious deception of selling government secrets to the Russians. Ryan Phillippe plays Eric O'Neill, an ambitious FBI trainee assigned to lead a covert investigation of the agency's top Soviet analyst Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), a cantankerous right-wing Catholic who's suspected of dabbling in internet porn. When O'Neill finds himself succumbing to a respect for his quarry he is then told the real reason for his brief: Hanssen is an unscrupulous spy who has been trading with Moscow for years. A sombre game of cat-and-mouse ensues, and what it lacks in genuine tension it amply compensates in the understated performances of the two leads: Cooper projects the hawkish, haunted look of a career double-dealer superbly, and Phillippe is a surprise package as a rookie investigator who gets in over his head. Laura Linney is the bonus as O'Neill's FBI controller, a woman so committed to the job she doesn't have a partner "or a cat".
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre