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The Courier (2020)
The Courier (2020)
2020 |
7.6 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Cumberbatch is brilliant. (1 more)
Great real life history lesson
Buckley is good, but miscast. (0 more)
A peerless Cumberbatch and a miscast Buckley.
It's not to be confused with the Olga Kurylenko / Gary Oldman 2019 movie of the same title. But with a fresh Berlin current-day Russian spy scandal in the news this week, seeing the cold war spy drama "The Courier" is a timely thing to do.

- Benedict Cumberbatch is outstandingly good in this. He could have been born to play the slightly bemused English gentlemen of the time. All golf, tweed suits and gentlemen's clubs. No spoilers, but there is a physical transformation as well that's impressive to observe. The film would have been decidedly so-so I think without that core central performance.
- The film is based on a true story. As someone who was born in 1961, it's a good reminder to count our blessings that you, me and everyone else are still around to live our lives at all. The world was on the brink of a precipice and learning the story of Wynne's part in this was insightful history.
- There's a nice catchy Russian-themed score by Abel Korzeniowski.

- I'm a big fan of Jessie Buckley. Really, I am. And to be fair to her, her performance is really good. I particularly liked a scene where she dismissed on the doorstep a local busybody. But I just didn't see her as Wynne's pearl-neckless-wearing wife in this part. Perhaps the problem is that although there's a 13 year age gap between the leads, I always imagine Buckley as being much younger that her 31 years. For whatever reason, the casting didn't work for me.

Summary Thoughts on "The Courier": As a true-life spy story, the movie is interesting and Cumberbatch's performance is brilliant. But I can't say that I was 100% grabbed by it. While having a few moments of high drama and tension - particularly one on a plane - I never felt that to be maintained for enough of the movie. Director Dominic Cooke has a limited filmography (with the Saoirse Ronan movie "On Chesil Beach" being his only other feature) and writer Tom O'Connor is the guy behind the more flippant "Hitman's Bodyguard" films. Perhaps a more experienced writer/director team would have elevated this to a higher level.

So it's eminently watchable but not memorable. Just a marginal hit in my book.

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