Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak. Written by
Edward Wilson's (Matt Damon's) name is close to that of real-life C.I.A. Agent Edwin Wilson, who was involved in one of the most controversial episodes in the agency's history. An ex-Marine and Korean War veteran, the real Ed Wilson left the C.I.A. and was subsequently jailed for supplying arms and ex-Green Beret mercenaries as trainers to Libyan terrorist training camps. Wilson always claimed he was acting on C.I.A. orders and gathering intelligence on their behalf, later being exonerated and freed when released documents proved the C.I.A. had lied about severing all links with Wilson before the events occurred. A former C.I.A. Officer, David Adler, was the lawyer who got Wilson's conviction overturned. See more »
In the office scene in 1961 we can see modern white plastic wall clocks and a modern tourchier floor lamp in the background. See more »
I wasn't sure that a movie like this could or would still be made and released in this country.
No, it wasn't Mission Impossible 6. It didn't have the overwhelming special effects, chases, explosions and gunfights one might expect in a spy thriller. It didn't need them. Thrilling enough was the exposition of character (imagine that). Plot? Whose real life has ever had a tight plot line? Edward Wilson's life meandered along like many do. In fact, I found it even more interesting because the turns Wilson's life took seemed dictated by his character and not just by his chosen profession.
Courageous choices were made by DeNiro in making this film, by Damon in tackling the role with such coldness and stoicism, and by Jolie in passing on being a movie star in favor of being an actress.
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