Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak.Written by
Phillip Allen (William Hurt) is partly based on Allen Dulles, O.S.S. operative, and later C.I.A. Director during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Contrary to popular belief, President John F. Kennedy was fascinated with the world of espionage and unconventional warfare, granting the U.S. Special Forces their trademark Green Berets, while his enthusiasm for the James Bond novels helped to popularize them. However, during the C.I.A.'s Bay of Pigs operation he refused to allow overt military support for the mission, and severely limited the number of air strikes allowed to be flown by the C.I.A.'s own aircraft, for fear of revealing the U.S. Government's role. Both decisions are widely considered to have doomed the entire enterprise to failure from the start. Ironically, Allen Dulles was appointed to the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy, Dulles' former boss. Kennedy had fired Allen Dulles as head of the C.I.A. See more »
When Edward is in Mironov's office, there's a picture of Mironov's family with two daughters. However, this contradicts his legend which states that he has 2 sons (and probably the true Mironov did). It is highly doubtful that he would do such a mistake and nobody would notice that inconsistency. See more »
Did you know that Philip Allen was going to be on the Mayan Coffee Company's board of directors?
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I went into the theatre with little knowledge but that I was going to be watching a film about a man who was one of the founders of the CIA. Expecting this, I thought this movie was outstanding and a mind game from start to finish.
What one has to understand about the movie itself is that it is as complicated as the storyline. It starts out with two different time lines, decades apart and slowly one reaches the other. That in itself can be difficult to follow, but it is well worth the effort to pay attention because if you can leave the theatre understanding what took place, you walk away with a little more knowledge about the human complex.
Because this is a story more about the soul and our humanity than it is about spies and country. Those are just the means by which De Niro uses.
Every actor is placed remarkably well and no more so than Matt Damon himself. It is his acting that gives us Edward Wilson; a man without airs who doesn't compromise. The movie spans over twenty years and fortunately we see those years reflected in most of the characters. Angelina Jolie does the neglected, alcoholic wife superbly. William Hurt and Lee Pace as Richard Hayes both give a wonderful performance taking their character's flaws from subtle to substantial by the end.
Some might wonder how so many actors could be recruited for such small roles, like Alec Baldwin, Michael Gambon, and Joe Pesci, but one only has to see as far as the director to get their answer. Don't let the big names and the anagram CIA get you. This movie is as edgy as it is intricate with twists and turns that take the viewer through the world of trust and the human element. A man like Edward Wilson is just the perfect vessel for the journey.
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