A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but can only get financing if he casts a well-known action star. ... See full summary »
Despite being set in the 1980s and early 1990s, no attempt has been made to disguise the scenes shot in Central London, so modern cars and buses (as of 2003) are regularly seen behind the characters. See more »
It's 1994. Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) does a deal with Gordon Brown (David Morrissey) for the leadership of the Labour Party. Twelve years earlier, both Blair and Brown are new members after a Conservative landslide forced to share an office. The bombastic Brown rises quickly in the opposition ranks. The more personable Blair is slower but is Brown's confidant and close political ally. After a close but heartbreaking election in '92, Blair pushes Brown to run for the leadership but is rebuffed. Blair becomes more ambitious. Brown makes enemies in the party while Blair makes gains in popularity.
It's a fine docudrama about a couple of fascinating personalities. Both Sheen and Morrissey are well cast and great actors. It hits on the main points of history but it doesn't give the history life. Director Stephen Frears needs more personal moments between the two leads. The most compelling scenes are when Blair badgers Brown about his personal life and later when they start competing. This is a fine history. I wish Frears could dig deeper into the personalities and allow this to be even more Shakespearian.
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