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Agent of Influence (2002) (TV)
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
CIA tries to frame John Watkins, Canadian ambassador to Russia under the Pearson government., 13 April 2003

Engrossing and frightening expose of the unprincipled tactics of the CIA, in dealing with the RCMP to hunt down possible double agents among Canadian diplomats in Lester Pearson's circle. The true story of John Watkin's tragic death finally surfaces - how a good man is sacrificed by "commie hunters". Herbert Norman and Watkins were hounded by the CIA during the cold war, and even their friend Prime Minister Lester Pearson couldn't save them.

How timely for CTV to air this when Canada has the courage not to back the U.S. unilateral invasion of Iraq. This TV movie explains better than any lecture the roots of the tensions between the US and Canada in international affairs.

Terrific performance by Christopher Plummer as Watkins, a sophisticated homosexual whose deep sense of decency is finally recognized by the RCMP officer interrogating him. Effective direction by Michel Poulette.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Best production of Puccini's opera so far, 8 August 1999

This gorgeously shot and brilliantly directed film version of the opera is the most passionate I've seen. The acting is unusually detailed and truthful for an opera, especially Butterfly's total commitment and Pinkerton's breezy lust.

But why didn't we see his ship sail into the bay? The water and mountains seemed destined for that shot, but didn't deliver. The boy was too old, the voice of the "uncle" in the sky didn't work, but generally it was a deeply moving experience, rising to a terrific climax in her suicide and his remorse. That last closeup of Pinkerton, racked by remorse, lifting the dying Butterfly, was powerful. The film aired in Canada on Aug 8 on the Bravo! TV network. I couldn't tear myself away to get to a party till the final credits were rolling.