Official Secrets Review - Engaging Edge of Your Seat Espionage Thriller

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Official Secrets, from IFC Films, presents a contemporary espionage thriller as Katherine Gun, a former British spy, discovers the US government is attempting to swing the UN Security Council vote by gathering dirt to leverage smaller nations.

Directed and co-written by Gavin Hood, Official Secrets stars Keira Knightly, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith, Adam Bakri, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Jack Farthing, Indira Varma, Peter Guinness, Clive Francis, John Heffernam, Hanako Footman, Chris Larkin, Monica Dolan, Hattie Morahan, Conleth Hill, Tamsin Greig, Katherine Kelly with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former President George Bush and former British Prime Minster Tony Blair in archival footage.


Angel Has Fallen Review - A Solid Action Thriller


Official Secrets begins with Katherine Gun, played by Keira Knightly, standing in court as charges which include violating the Official Secrets Act are read. She is essentially being charged with treason. Before the audience hears her answer the film transitions back to one year earlier.

Gun and her husband, Yasar, played by Adam Bakri, a Turkish national seeking permanent residency in the United Kingdom, are living quiet lives. As the story is told Katherine began working gathering intelligence at GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters, as she needed to find work. The idea that she was a British spy or would become a whistle blower was clearly not in her plan.

The audience is immediately introduced to the dilemma when an NSA top secret memo, which appears to confirm a joint UK-US spying operation, is sent via email to Gun and her colleagues at GCHQ, all of whom interpret it as a request from the US to gather enough information on smaller nations to swing the UN Security Council vote.

War, it seems is inevitable, as President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are determined to invade Iraq. The US hadn’t yet found any WMDs, and Blair was telling his people, Saddam is not allowing the weapons inspectors access and in perfect warmongering fashion links him to Al-Qaeda.


Brian Banks Review - Gripping, A Rare Exoneration Highlights Shocking Injustice


Katherine, with only two years working for the government, still had a consciousness and the idea of spying to swing the war vote and not protecting the British people, which she reiterates throughout the film is her primary duty, didn’t sit well with her.

To expo the request from the US to spy on other nations, Gun decides to send the communique to a friend who will funnel it through channels and maybe something can be done. Some time goes by and nothing.

Then as the anti-war sentiment grows in the United Kingdom with what was then the largest anti-war protest in history drawing between 750,000 to 1million people descended on London to protest the British involvement in an Iraqi war, it didn’t appear the security council would side with the US and approve war.

Which is where we meet Martin Bright, played by Matt Smith, a reporter for the Observer, one of the few newspapers considered a Downing street loyalist. Bright receives the memo, in true Watergate Deep Throat fashion.

After considering the contents and far reaching implications, he along with Peter Beaumont, played by Matthew Goode, agree the contents of the email have enough merit to warrant further investigation. They each check angles, unable to receive specific confirmation from multiple high-ranking sources, they dissect the memo, by language and other identifiers to determine its authenticity. Confident that the email is genuine, they run the story. Suddenly on a quiet Sunday morning as Katherine is buying milk, she stops and sees the headlines splashed in lettering usually reserved for war across the newspaper.

The story at this point advances on three fronts, shifting from the day to day of Katherine Gun to Martin Bright and his efforts to expose the United States for strong-arming smaller nations, the newsroom and of course now charged as a spy, the defense and legal team working to find a loophole.


Once Upon A Time in Hollywood - Four Stars, Mesmerizing, Magical


With three story lines to weave into a single thread, the stories of Martin Bright and The Observer, Katherine Gun, her legal issues and husband, and then the legal team, which brings in Ray Fiennes in the third act to hit the grand slam which he does, the story is fluid, absorbing, and shocking.

The film moves with precision as it takes a series of events that happened over extended periods of time and condenses them into an intriguing, thrilling, story.

Official Secrets is riveting from the beginning as it exposes both governments as engaging in espionage to secure the votes necessary to attack a nation that was, for all intents and purposes, guilty of something and probably many things, and for the crime presented to the United Nations, they were not. The Weapons of Mass Destruction were not there. The war was a personal vendetta, an attempt to right a family wrong.

The film also shows there are no boundaries that modern governments won’t breech, using the war on terror as its public banner, leaders will jeopardize the very ideals they profess and hold as truth, even sacrificing Constitutions, citizens, laws, allies. Official Secrets picks up, after the hunt for WMDs proved unsuccessful carried out by even the most advanced technologies available.


The Peanut Butter Falcon Review - Beautiful, Captivating, A Feel-Good Film That Inspires


Official Secrets exposes contemporary governments, those who were once held in esteem, as partners in advancing an agenda and using the, post September 11, 2001, terror climate for political payback.

Official Secrets open Friday, August 30, 2019. See this film.

Haute Tease

  • COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine Is Not About Trump

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President of Doctors for Disasters Preparedness, Dr. Jane Orient, M.D.,  remains a strong advocate of the drug hydroxychloroquine in the fight against the Coronavirus, despite the various labels the drug has been given and its mainstream stigma.

     
  • Farbod Barsum’s Chromed Clutch Bag - An Luxurious, Artful, Accessory

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amid this fashion season's white-hot metallic's and hardware trends, lauded luxury handbag designer Farbod Barsum has introduced his chromed out "Leela" clutch, a posh purse handcrafted from sustainable sourced African ostrich leg, coated with a metallic finish, and adorned with studded accents. 

     
  • What is Worse: Going Viral or Verbal Quarantine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the death toll and cases of 2019- nCoV (aka novel coronavirus) infection rises, our curiosity increases as to the epidemic’s when, why, where, and how. Is the new virus naturally occurring, animal to human transmission, a bio-weapon?

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/G20/China/Brexit; Election 2016: FP Fells Both; Mother Teresa; OK Quake; Jacob Wetterling

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama waxed a bit nostalgic during his announcement of the historic Paris Climate Agreement during the G20 reflecting on his reasons for entering into political life and now as the exit draws nigh the realization of effort is magnified.

     
  • Gertrude’s of Scottsdale Review – Magical Mastery of Ingredient-Driven Menu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gertrude's Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, is one of those rare dining establishment boasting an incredible location literally inside the famed Desert Botanical Garden, perfect combinations of fresh seasonal ingredients with culinary excellence that makes it a must-visit venue for any food lover.

     
  • Q4 2018 Hedge Fund Holdings: Top Stocks, New Buys & More

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hedge funds didn't have a great 2018. They posted a loss of 5.7 percent, according to Bloomberg. With a bigger 2019 predicted stock picks from the twelve billionaire hold even greater interest. Check out the enclosed graphics.

     
  • Germany: Saxony Engages Travelers with Compelling Microsite

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With European travel approaching high season, an escape to stunning Saxony, Germany, where lovers of history, castles, classical music, art museums and charming towns can experience the region at its most beautiful through the new microsite www.saxonytraveldreams.com.

     
  • Beauty, Style: Guide to Finding Your Best Look

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When you're looking to develop a personal fashion style you can be known for, it’s very important to research and make sure you know what kind of look you want to show off to the world.  

  • Curves California Review – Embodiment of Cool, Soulful, California Driving

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Curves, the German driving magazine has been on a road trip, sending Stefan Bogner, photographer and auto enthusiast, to the US to travel Highway 1, what they describe "without a doubt one of the most beautiful roads in the world."

     
  • A Case of You Review – A Cute Romantic Comedy in a 4G Social Media World

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “A Case of You,” from Lagniappe Films and I’m So Sorry Productions, is a modern twist on the New York urban romance myth where boy meets girl, they connect, romance blossoms and love is created.

     
  • The Color of Money - The Carlos Ghosn Salary Controversary

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The controversies surrounding the remuneration of big business leaders have rebounded in the case of Carlos Ghosn. But would not these polemics respond to epidermal reactions in which History and human feelings mingle?

     
  • The Respondent, An Upcoming True Story by Greg Ellis, Hit Shelves in January

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Greg Ellis, Emmy nominated actor in many of the biggest box office successes (the Pirates of the Caribbean series, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, Titanic), has a mind-blowing story which includes psych ward lock ups, homelessness, and other humanizing tribulations.  

  • Charlie Hebdo Suspects Killed In Police Shoot Out

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The two brothers suspected of the slaughter of 12 affiliated with the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and wounding 11 others in the worst act of terrorism in more than two decades, have been killed.

     
  • Norman Lear, Legendary TV Producer Wows Critics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Legendary television producer, Norman Lear is re-branding himself at 93. The nonagenarian, known from such liberal hits as "All in the Family," "The Jefferson," "Good Times," and "Maude" basically most television programming during the 1970's that tackled tough taboo subjects, is moving into a new phase.

     
  • Magic Theatre Announces Cast Of Ashlin Halfnight’s World Premiere The Resting Place

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Magic Theatre (Loretta Greco, Artistic Director and Jaimie Mayer, Managing Director) announced today the complete cast of Ashlin Halfnight's World Premiere The Resting Place, the first production of the 2018- 2019 season, directed by Jessica Holt.