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".
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
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