5th October 2019 4.30pm at Embankment Garden Cinema
6th October 2019 1.50pm at Embankment Garden Cinema
This new political thriller tackles the true story of how the FBI investigated the actions and movements of the CIA in the aftermath of 9/11, examining deeply whether their methods of interrogation against suspected terrorists truly proved fruitful in the execution. Heading up this team is senate staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver), appointed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) – a man initially keen simply to make his mark on Washington. But when he begins to uncover more and more about the CIA’s shady misdeeds, his work becomes more than just research, evolving into a rigorous pursuit of truth and justice.
There is no Hollywood sparkle to The Report. But does it need it? In fact it has quite the opposite, addressing the facts head-on whilst beckoning the audience to run alongside, and for all the relentless dialogue and violent scenes of torture, it really works. The brutality of the subject matter remains intact as director Scott Z. Burns refuses to sprinkle in fictitious romance or plot twists; the story alone is engaging enough.
There are strong resemblances to The Post and All the President’s Men, with real political history unfolding before our eyes in a very digestible manner. And yet this movie includes its own little quirks and niceties, provided expertly by the commanding Bening, before once again the cold fist of politics is slammed back down on the table, making the mountain even higher for Jones to climb.
The script is truly delectable: a constant barrage of heat as we follow Driver in his unyielding search for the truth, battling politicians and institutions along the way. The Academy Award nominee pushes his abilities to new levels as the powerfully motivated Jones, digging deep and losing himself in the realms of unlawful activity, all the while playing a role that ages and matures over the course of a decade. It isn’t necessarily noticeable that Jones ages during the process of his work, but Driver shows the man’s transition from pen pusher to desperate justice seeker in a moving and almost soul-crushing performance.
Shot in a very naturalistic way, the film takes place in smoke-filled rooms, the air murky with political deceit. This exhilarating drama’s timeline jumps but engages all the way, with the inevitable conclusion proving satisfying and eye-opening. The cast as a whole, including Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall, is marvellous, and re-enacts this shockingly true story with the utmost polish and decision. It’s American, unsparing and devilishly good.
The Report is released nationwide on 15th November 2019.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for The Report here: