RED JOAN (2018): It’s…

Red Joan (2018), Judi Dench, IFC Films
Red Joan (2018), Judi Dench, IFC Films

Red Joan, the Trevor Nunn directed drama / biography based on the true story of Melita Stedman Norwood, the KGB’s longest serving British spy isn’t quite what I’d hoped.

Not that I was expecting James Bond level antics, however, even though Red Joan is adequately acted, there’s a certain absence of excitement in Nunn’s story. I remained curious enough to watch till the end, but the way the movie is written and edited certainly didn’t allow for me to become very strongly invested emotionally in how things would turn out for the protagonist(s).

Furthermore, I felt as though not enough was delved into as deeply as needed. For example, the film barely sold Joan to me as a person who really believed in saving the world. Assuming she wasn’t lying about her motivations, I wanted to know and understand if by the end she was in fact delusional or was she to some level effective in her mission, as she believed.

Sure, watch Red Joan if you absolutely must. Otherwise, for a loosely similar but far more brilliantly executed film… The Imitation Game (2014).

Happy Film Loving


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