chris cooper gets, and nails, a very good role. i wonder how realistically the story is told, though, in part because it seems very odd to place a gs 11 in the position to take down the most egregious domestic spy in american history. a gs 11, by the way, is a federal salary designation that equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of $50k/year. other than that and a couple other minor “why would he have done that?” type moments, i found the film to be enjoyable. it’s topical, but it seemed to remain non-partisan on the whole and avoided being didactic.
the character dynamic between cooper and phillipe keeps the film tense and interesting throughout. like many film noir, it begins by telling us of cooper’s eventual arrest. by the end of the film, in spite of all the things he did, i felt very sorry for cooper’s character – primarily because cooper does such a good job humanizing and rounding it out. cooper could merit academy consideration next year.Watched in theater