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|Index||42 reviews in total|
52 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
The simplest review you'll ever read......., 30 August 2011
Author: Matthew Lewis from Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Slow paced yet clever enough to keep your interest - no need for shoot outs, car chases or fireball explosions because some 'producer' claims "It's what an audience wants!" ( I, for one, don't, unless it's a blood and gore war film). Touches of Le Carre without the seedy Lambeth safe house that seem to pop up in his novels. This is stylish and clever with excellent dialogue, therefore excellent performances from all of the major players. They believe in their characters and it shows,(apart from one 'minor player' that left me a bit annoyed at his wooden delivery - should have been easy to have re-shot that bit with another 'bit part actor'as it was only a short scene on the stairs, you'll spot the bit I mean). All in all, subtly understated, so more believable, and most importantly, a story with a grain of truth running through it that we will all identify with; unless you've lived on the moon for the past 15 years. Bravo, give us more of the same.
51 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
First class entertainment., 29 August 2011
Author: bruce-146-255228 from Somerset, England
Atmospheric, intelligent, thrilling and without violence, this film
shines as an example of exceedingly skillful work. There are some
scenes of doubtful authenticity but those are still believable and in
any case the quality of acting glosses over them. It is delightful when
great actors have material and settings that allow them to give their
subtle best. Even incidental parts are played convincingly by all and
the barely plausible delivery by the Home Secretary only serves to keep
things at a human level.
I hope and feel that we shall see more programmes of a similar standard from such a distinguished cast and clever crew. Simply superb from start to finish. (Viewed on iPlayer)
47 out of 58 people found the following review useful:
An all-round enjoyable watch, 29 August 2011
Author: andrewl-williamson from United Kingdom
I'll assume you've read the plot summary, so I won't labour on
explaining that. In a nutshell, Bill Nighy is playing an MI5 agent
who's responsibility it is to uncover the deceit allegedly led by the
British Prime Minister (Ralph Fiennes).
It opens with the quirky, upbeat jazz music and feels a bit 'Alfie-ish' as Nighy struts down the streets of London to his flat, and then we finally settle down into the story. The story is, and I hate to say it, a little thin around the edges and could do with a little more 'oomph' to get it those final couple of stars. If your expecting to see Nighy as the ass-kicking, hard-nut veteran version of James Bond then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. This is about plot and character, not flamboyant action sequences. Speaking of character, there is plenty of that in this film; from Nighy himself to Ralph Fiennes and Michael Gambon- there are stars a plenty to keep the film alive, the acting is brilliantly good and there's a scene between Nighy and Fiennes which I particularly enjoyed, just simple dialogue between two great actors.
Yes it does feel a bit BBCish, but at the end of the day it is a BBC film so I can't really complain! So if you have an hour and 40 minutes to fill, I strongly recommend this film- it's mysterious (yet it probably could have been more so), fun (there are a handful of good laugh-provoking lines thrown in there), engaging and an all-round enjoyable watch. Enjoy.
41 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic piece of television, 31 August 2011
Author: Thomas Lee from Shrewsbury, Great Britain
Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Gambon in very good form, playing
charmingly audacious characters. The Security Service, and the sense of
'England' that is built around it, are both portrayed in an amusingly
manner that some might might find annoying - but which I felt more to
be endearing. And a refreshing contrast to the bleak picture of the
world and it's intelligence services painted in other modern spy shows,
'Spooks' being the prime example.
The story seems to ramble a little, at first, and is not as tight or conventionally depicted as audiences might be used to, but it soon picks up - leading to a 'Johnny on the run' sequence that is as good as any other staple 'spy in hiding' romp in any TV espionage thriller of recent years, but one which is much more believable and down-to-earth. An unexpected conclusion left me praising Nighy's character for doing the right thing, in normal person terms, rather than 'the right thing' in the usual On Her Majesty's Secret Service terms that we're usually force-fed by spy drama - one of the many things that made the character and those around him seem less like a phantom, emotionless government spook, and more like a human being.
Well worth watching.
33 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
A very British spy movie, 2 September 2011
Author: Andy Graham from United Kingdom
My 9 should be taken simply as an unequivocal recommendation to see the
movie, rather than as a comparison with any other movie.
This movie is clearly in love with the world of movie spying but the writer/director have far too much class to reduce it to an exercise in kiss kiss bang bang. Instead of guns and girls we get dodgy dossiers, cold London streets, hushed conversations and uncertain allegiances.
Very early on, there is an exchange between Michael Gambon (Ben) and Bill Nighy (Johnny) that makes it clear nothing is to be taken at face value. This left me constantly wondering about everyone's motives and questioning every relationship, just as Johnny seems to do. This makes for a very enjoyable, if paranoid, experience.
Those who do not like the tone or pacing might argue that it is unfocused or misses its punches, but I liked this aspect of the film. For me, it made it all seem more realistic and at the same time more demanding of the viewer (that is, you have to pay attention and notice what is going on).
I hear that there may be a second and third film. I'd go to the cinema to see them.
21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Excellent spy drama in a post 9-11 world, 17 September 2011
Hard on the heels of a complete dud ('Glorious 39'), Bill Nighe stars
in a worthy, modern successor of John le Carre's seventies cold war
If you prefer action, noise and explosions, you won't like this film. If you prefer drama to confirm your own political convictions, you won't necessarily like this film. If you prefer complex plots that make you sit on the edge of your seat, good acting and atmosphere, you will probably like this film.
The script is sharp, believable and occasionally witty, even if not all the threads are followed to their logical conclusion. Michael Gambon is a cryptic spy master with sense of irony that seems to borrow from his stage successes in Pinter and Beckett. Bill Nighe plays his character with a varying mixture of quick-wittedness, weariness and vulnerability. What little music there is matches his character's personality perfectly. The cinematography is gray and unexciting but very appropriate for the plot. The ending both satisfies and leaves one want for more.
Bring on the sequel!
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
454th Review: An intelligent and competent political thriller, 12 September 2011
Author: intelearts from the big screen
Bill Nighy really could be turning into this generation's David Niven -
with a more world-weary edge, mind you, but he has an immense charm
without any swarm, and puts it to excellent use in Page Eight. He plays
a civil servant and security analyst coming to the end of his career in
the upper echelons of Whitehall who discovers that politics and war are
not honourable affairs.
With an outstanding cast and an intelligent plot this remains a thriller - but one without the usual resort to unlikely battles and chases - it is very British, both in its tone and in its look - and what we get is a very nice thriller indeed.
If you like 60s cold war spies movies, and want a break from the Bourne type, then this will fit the bill very nicely. Intelligent, beautifully paced and acted, and all in all a nice break from action films to something more purposeful and, really, a satisfying watch.
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Searingly Poignant Film, 1 November 2011
Author: gradyharp from United States
David Hare both wrote and directed this stylish, intensely intelligent
suspense film (his other films include work on The Hours, The Reader,
Damage, Plenty, etc). Few films have been made that depend on smart
dialogue and intense acting instead of explosions, car chases, and
other improbable acts of danger to make their point. Aided by a
top-notch British cast, Hare has created a thinking person's drama and
it is refreshingly poignant.
A contemporary spy film created for BBC, the action is set in both London and Cambridge. Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy in one of his best roles to date) is an experienced MI5 officer whose boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies of a myocardial infarction: he leaves a secret file for his friend. Both men have been married to the same woman (Alice Krige) and Worricker has a grown child from his marriage, an artist Julianne Felicity Jones) who has never quite forgiven her father for leaving her mother for another woman. The file is so important that it is under surveillance by the British Intelligence (Judy Davis et al) and the Prime Minister's office (Ralph Fiennes). Worricker lives in a flat opposite a beautiful but aloof girl Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) whose brother has been murdered in the Middle East. It is the silence about Nancy's brother's death that is at the core of the file Worricker holds and with some help from Nancy he traces the truth to the point of being threatened by MI5 to be fired. The film addresses contemporary intelligence issues and techniques and the associated moral dilemmas we face today. To reveal more would be to rob the viewer of the complexity of the story.
The strong supporting cast includes Marthe Kellar in a small but pivotal role, along with Tom Hughes, Kate Burdette, Ewen Bremmer and others. This is a tense drama, exceptionally well written and acted and a welcome change from the current barrage of action flicks.
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Powerful political thriller, 8 October 2011
Author: Murray Morison from Greece
The cast is strong and the writing adept, and this carries a
fascinating film dealing with the tensions between politics and
intelligence gathering. David Hare clearly has been disturbed by how
closely our (British) politicians may have become involved with
'extraordinary rendition' and intelligence gathered from the use of
torture by the Americans.
Bill Nighy leads as a cerebral senior intelligence officer dealing with a world where fellow spies are not all Oxbridge, even if the Prime Minister is. His neighbour seems to appear from nowhere, and in the form of the lovely Rachel Weisz. Can she be trusted? And what of his one time tutor and now boss, played convincingly by Michael Gambon? The early scene where the spies meet the politicians, in the form of the Home Secretary (Saskia Reeves) and her assistant, is pure Hare theatre. A wonderful script delivered with panache.
The tension builds slowly but relentlessly. Maybe the grasp of the world of spies does not have Le Carre's inside track, but Hare gives us a film well worth watching.
25 out of 43 people found the following review useful:
Compelling if occasionally clumsy, 29 August 2011
Author: Framescourer from London, UK
There's a peculiar sense of timing to this film. The issue of
rendition, which is the subject of a report whose eighth page is
particularly incendiary, may still be prickly outside the drama but it
is by no means current. However, the big screen adaptation of John le
Carre's Tinker, Tailor... is a fortnight away from release. Spying is
always current and these days, as we leave behind the decade of BBC
TV's Spooks (and Bourne) so the more insidious political machinations
resurface as the real drama.
Page Eight is about this creep, how expedience causes journalism, politics, security and individuals' personal lives to overlap. This much was done well in script and on screen. I enjoyed the sharp, ambivalent courtesies shared between powerful people too; occasionally I felt I was watching a dangerous remake of In The Loop, as if everyone was actually carrying a loaded gun.
Unfortunately, David Hare's direction rather gets in the way of his own script. The acting, whilst good, is not free and often mannered beyond the intriguing courtesies already mentioned. Hare's polemic also gets in the way of real dramatic swing, as he tries to deliver his rant without allowing the drama - already doing it - to breathe.
It is, however, stylish and a good vehicle for an astonishing cast (I was delighted to see Judy Davis appearing in this film, even more so to see her act brilliantly). 6/10
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