Monday, October 9, 2017

With MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE, Peter Landesman complements an earlier "Watergate" movie


A wonderful addition to All the President's Men -- that 1976 movie about the fall of the Nixon administration from the angle of the Washington Post reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, who gave us the story, thanks to the anonymous whistle-blowing of a certain character they dubbed "Deep Throat" -- the new film from writer/director Peter Landesman (shown below) gives us the same story, but this time from the viewpoint of Deep Throat himself.

MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE, is the film's marquee-challenging title, the first two words of which are the most important, in any case, and it is so much better a movie than its mostly dismissive-to-negative reviews would indicate that TrustMovies thoroughly recommends you see it.

Aside from the strong, dead-on performance from Liam Neeson (shown above and below) as Mark Felt -- this is the role he was, as they say, born to play -- and the excellent performances from a perfectly-cast and quite starry set of supporting actors, what Mr. Landesman is able to make crystal clear without a bit of over-explanation or "showy" directional touches is how what Felt did here was both absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity of our attempt at democracy while at the same time betraying all those co-workers, family and friends who were closest to him.

This extreme duality becomes the great irony that hangs over the movie and -- in addition to the often suspense-making and shocking (even now) details that pile up about how the Nixon administration broke the law, subverted justice and co-opted those were supposed to bring us that justice -- Landesman and his cast make it all come to life with intensity and buttoned-down passion (this is the FBI, after all).

Is it necessary to say that all this seems doubly important now, in the era when the USA has a President and administration every bit as foul as that of the Nixon White House -- except that Richard Milhous, while paranoid, ugly and dishonest as you could want, had ten times the intelligence of the current occupant: that fool/fraud, coward/crook, bigot/bully that is Donald Trump? "Adult Day Care," indeed!

So, whether or not you're my age and lived through the array and dismay of Watergate, or you're younger and want to know more about it all, settle in to your seat, pay attention, and marvel at the incredible goings-on. And then hope against hope that there is/are whistle-blower(s) readying right now the proof we need of exactly who the man at the top really is and what he has done.

Meanwhile, enjoy those wonderful supporting performances from the likes of Marton Csokas (three photos above, as L. Patrick Gray, the corrupt man who was, because of his ability to be corrupted, given the job that Felt ought to have had); Michael C. Hall (two photo above) as the smarmy and early turncoat, John Dean;

Diane Lane (above) as Felt's sad, increasingly bitter wife (stay for the final credit crawl to learn what happened to many of these people); and the always fine Tony Goldwyn (at left, two photos up) and Josh Lucas (below, right) as Felt's loyal-though-betrayed underlings. Ike Barinholtz also turns in good work as another angry, finger-pointing FBI man.

From Sony Picture Classics and running a just-right 103 minutes, Mark Felt etc., after hitting the "cultural centers" a week or two back, opens this coming Friday, October 13, here in South Florida at a dozen theaters in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and surrounding areas. Wherever you live across the country, click here and then enter your zip code under Showtimes and Tickets to find the theater(s) nearest you.

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