Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Breach" (Billy Ray, 2007) You look at Billy Ray's CV and you gotta wonder: this guy wrote "Color of Night," Legalese," "Hart's War"and "Volcano," and he's still working? Yeah, well, he's also directed..with a very clean, unfussy style..the wonderful "Shattered Glass." And he brings that same no-nonsense approach to "Breach," the filmed account of the investigation and 2001 arrest of FBI analyst Robert Hanssen who had been selling secrets to the "Bolsheviks" right under the noses and within the confines of the FBI. Like "Shattered," "Breach" is concerned with the "Who" and "Why," as much as the "How," and Chris Cooper makes the contradictory/unreadable Hanssen a fine screen creep who would freak any employee, much less one recruited to spy and take notes. If Cooper plays a prominent spook, Phillipe has the unglamorous role of the kid who has to do the perversely dirty deed, appear on the edge of paranoia without being too obvious about it, and walk the moral razor of doing the right thing and being a cheese-eater. Laura Linney's on hand, too, playing one of her few hard-ass roles. It's competent, involving, and scary to know that some semblance of this actually happened. And it has a gut-punching ending that's earned.

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