4 November 2016.
Multiple Oscar-winning writer, producer and director Oliver Stone has always searched for the soul and guilt of America in his many controversial films such as “JFK”; “Born on the Fourth of July”, “Platoon”, “Nixon”, “Natural Born Killers” and “Wall Street”. He manifests his love for his country by showing all its warts and trying to be honest about its shortcomings. Sometimes he goes overboard, others times he makes masterpieces.
Here he attacks one of the country’s most recent dilemmas by zeroing in on the true story of Edward Snowden, the idealistic young military officer who became outraged by illegal, rampant NSA surveillance techniques. He turned whistleblower by leaking classified government documents to the world press, ending up as an (accidental) asylum-seeker in Russia.
Is Snowden a hero or a traitor? Let Stone take you through this exposé, which is at times too technical and mired in facts, but always passionate about personal freedom and the right to privacy. His use of the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour” as his central motif grounds the film, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent as the earnest Snowdon, somewhat lost but determined in his resolve.
THE ACCOUNTANT (Mr. Wolff) **1/2
What happens when an unruly autistic child is brought up by a strict father who believes in using really tough love on his two sons? Well, the autistic one evolves into Christian Wolff, a brilliant accountant to some of the shadiest despots around the world. Played by a smooth, ice-cold Ben Affleck, we become immersed in his insulated, meticulous world of number-crunching and ruthless killing.
It’s a wild, violent ride that hits a few sentimental bumps which Wolff tries to keep under control, as is his wont. Here is a strange, fierce tale by Gavin O’Connor with a great many twists and turns, until the kill-’em-all ending. Heady, exciting, but strangely forgettable.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.