Out on parole after 8 years inside Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15 year old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, an uncaring... See full summary »
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
In 1993, the IRA member Collette is arrested in the London tube after leaving a bomb in the facility. MI-5 Agent Mac offers a deal to Collette to become an informer. She accepts the agreement to protect her son and in return Mac offers a new identity to her after a period working for the MI-5. Soon Mac learns that his superior Kate Fletcher is using Collette to protect her mole inside the Irish organization. Mac tries to find the identity of the informer and protect Collette. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rebecca Hall was the first choice to play Colette. See more »
When Collette gets on the train, the camera focuses on a passenger but the view behind her suggests the train doors are open and tucked behind the double-layer glass but the sound effect of the trains movement is continued. See more »
In 1946 Alfred Hitchcock released the film Notorious, an espionage thriller revolving around a woman who is asked to spy on a group of Nazis in South America. Played to perfection by Ingrid Bergman, a good amount of the picture spent its time developing the relationship between the leading lady and her contact, played by Cary Grant. I couldn't help being reminded of Hitchcock's film while watching Shadow Dancer, a similarly woven story of a woman working as a double agent within the IRA while developing a relationship with her MI5 contact. The latest film from director James Marsh (Man on Wire), Dancer is set in 1990s Belfast, with the lead played by Andrea Riseborough, a great actress who has been on the verge of a breakout for the past few years now (she was nominated for a Rising Star BAFTA this year).
With Clive Owen taking on the Grant figure as her contact, Riseborough's Colette McVeigh is arrested in the film's intense opening sequence and then flipped to begin work for MI5 by spying on her IRA brothers. As those men become more and more suspicious of there being a rat within their organization, the pressures begin to mount all around Colette and Owen's Mac tries to find a way to get her out and save the girl that he has been finding himself falling for. Riseborough and Owen have a strong chemistry together and while those emotions aren't often brought out on the surface, you can always feel the tension boiling just underneath between the two. I wish more time had been given to develop their relationship, but as it stands the film pops the most when they are on screen together.
Riseborough really earns all of the praise that she has received for her work here, a mostly internal display of a woman caught between a rock and a hard place, struggling for survival and the well-being of her family in the midst of a great betrayal. The cast is rounded out by some quality actors in supporting parts, particularly Domhnall Gleeson who continues to impress in each new performance I see of his. I do wish that we had been given some more time with Owen and his superior, played with icy determination by Gillian Anderson. The two have a compelling spark with one another that drew me in, but we don't get to see nearly enough of their back-and-forth.
As for the film itself, despite a few white-knuckle sequences throughout, there is largely a distinct lack of intensity that had me occasionally finding my interest waning. Along with drawing some comparisons to the narrative of Hitchcock's Notorious, I found the tone quite similar to Christian Petzold's Barbara from last year. Driven by Riseborough's anguished portrayal, Shadow Dancer is more about the things that are building underneath as opposed to anything laid out on the surface. Marsh gives the film a grainy, somewhat vintage aesthetic that I think hurts the appeal a little bit, but there are times where this look can help in the effectiveness of a scene. Shadow Dancer doesn't do anything new or particularly extraordinary, but it's a well- enough British thriller that is elevated on the strength of its cast, in particular its very promising leading lady.
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