6.8/10
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133 user 216 critic

Fair Game (2010)

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CIA operative Valerie Plame discovers her identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband wrote criticizing the Bush administration.

Director:

Doug Liman

Writers:

Jez Butterworth (screenplay), John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,744 ( 1,883)
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Valerie Plame
Sonya Davison Sonya Davison ... Chanel Suit
Vanessa Chong Vanessa Chong ... Tabir Secretary #1
Anand Tiwari ... Hafiz
Stephanie Chai Stephanie Chai ... Tabir Secretary #2
Sean Penn ... Joe Wilson
Ty Burrell ... Fred
Jessica Hecht ... Sue
Norbert Leo Butz ... Steve
Rebecca Rigg ... Lisa
Brooke Smith ... Diana
Tom McCarthy ... Jeff
Ashley Gerasimovich ... Samantha Wilson
Quinn Broggy Quinn Broggy ... Trevor Wilson
Nicholas Sadler ... CIA Tour Leader
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Storyline

Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wife. Mother. Spy. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English | Arabic | French

Release Date:

3 December 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Plame and Wilson Biopic See more »

Filming Locations:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$651,802, 7 November 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,528,092, 13 February 2011
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film's screenwriters the Butterworths, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, signed on to write the screenplay, they found themselves facing restrictions unlike any they had ever encountered before. Even Valerie Plame Wilson's unpublished source memoir "Fair Game" was off limits to them until the CIA finished vetting it. Producer Janet Zucker said: "We first became interested in making 'Fair Game' because we saw an opportunity to tell the story of two remarkable people at the center of a pivotal moment in history. As we began developing the project, we discovered that conveying what happened to Valerie Plame [Valerie Plame Wilson] and Joe Wilson [Joseph Wilson] was complicated by a number of factors, including the fact that some of the work Valerie did for the CIA remains classified." So although the filmmakers had the rights to Plame's book, and her co-operation as a consultant on the movie, she could not reveal any information the government still considered to be secret. The screen-writers were left with no recourse but to conduct research on their own. Jez Butterworth said: "We did an immense amount. First about the US government and the CIA, and then about the Wilsons themselves." See more »

Goofs

Though the film takes place in 2002-2003, during the opening scene Plame mentions Mark Bell signing with the Maple Leafs. At that time, Bell played for the Chicago Blackhawks and wouldn't play for the Leafs until the 2007-2008 season. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Valerie Plame: [arriving at Kuala Lumpur airport] Jessica McDowell, Gnosos Chemicals.
Chanel Suit: [on elevator] When do you leave Kuala Lumpur, Miss McDowell?
Valerie Plame: I fly to Taiwan Tuesday, then back to Düsseldorf.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the last names of some of the characters (Hafiz, Jack, Bill, Dr. Zahraa, Paul, Ali, Hammad, Beth and Pete) are redacted. See more »

Connections

Features NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Political Identity
9 December 2010 | by jonnyhaveySee all my reviews

"Fair Game" is a film directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith") based on the memoir "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House" by Valerie Plame. Sean Penn is back after taking a two-year acting break since his second Best Acting Oscar for "Milk" in 2008. He plays the character of Politician Joe Wilson alongside Naomi Watts' portrayal of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Together these two tell the true story behind the weapons of mass destruction scare in 2002 and 2003 in Iraq that ultimately lead the United States to war. Valerie Plame is in the middle of the investigation of WMDs in Iraq. In order to learn more about the possible WMDs the government has Valerie's husband Joe travel as an ambassador to Niger in order to get information about the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq. Joe learns that there is not going to be a sale but the government twists the story. After viewing the State of the Union Address Joe Wilson decides to write an article in the New York Times stating the truth behind what he found in Niger challenging the White House directly. In response, the government declassifies Valerie's status as a CIA agent making her "Fair Game" and putting her directly in the public eye in order to bring shame to her husband and her family. This sparks a fire within Joe to fight the White House, but also begins to tear him and his wife apart.

"Fair Game" allows Naomi Watts and Sean Penn to let loose and take over the screen with their acting talents. Watts doe a very good job with her role portrayal of hard shelled Valerie Plame. She is able to create the stubborn exterior of Plame while showing her emotional side deep within. Congratulations is in order for her being able to stand out while on screen with Hollywood superstar and Academy favorite Sean Penn. All of the talk about the film has been directed towards Watts as Oscar season approaches, but it would be no surprise if Penn receives an Oscar birth as well. He is phenomenal in the film creating a very unique character breaking through the clichés that could have been. Both of these actors are able to give the film heart and show the strength that the couple had in order to fight the corrupt government sector leading to the fall of Scooter Libby.

The film is slow to start as the back story is built however, while the characters of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are developed completely all of the other characters seem to be left behind. They come off as just walking through the motions making it very hard to connect and differentiate between them. This can be attributed to one of two things. Either the acting is less than adequate, or there are so many characters that Watts interacts with at the CIA it are hard to put a name with any of the faces.

"Fair Game" is a political thriller that needed to be made. However, it is your job as the audience to reach out and see it because of its limited film release. Go see it now in order to learn about the story and note that a Best Picture Oscar nomination may be waiting for this dark horse of this year's award season.


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