The Conspirator (USA, 2010)

the-conspirator-movie-poster-550x814Directed by: Robert Redford. I thought Id check this out before I saw Lincoln, but I thought it had Kevin Kline as Abe. Instead, Kline plays the War Secretary (who also had that beard and hat), but regardless, this is a pretty great little movie. Is that a contradiction in terms? Anyway, it’s a shame that basically nobody knows about this movie, and nobody saw this movie, and nobody’s going to remember this movie, especially in the wake of this year’s blockbuster Oscar bait with Daniel Day Lewis. Spielberg’s film is sure to be a Great Man story: “Hey guys, look how great this great man was. Look! He’s doing something great!” Whereas Robert Redford’s film was a social responsibility film, warning against the dangers of suspending civil liberties at a time of national trauma. People saw this movie as a post-9/11 allegory (which makes one wonder if that’s why the studios and advertisers kind of buried this one), which perhaps it is. But it really never seems preachy or anything, it’s pretty compelling throughout, and it holds up as a really enjoyable human drama. James MacEvoy is pretty okay in this (he’ll have to work hard to win me over, but he’s not bad), and the supporting cast is amazing: Tom Wilkinson, Colm Meaney, Stephen Root, Danny Hurt, the inestimable Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, even the kid who plays Young Neil in Scott Pilgrim did a pretty great job. But really, the anchor here is Robin Wright. I can’t say I’ve seen her in much, but this is probably the best thing I’ve seen her do, and it’s a real shame that she won’t be widely recognized for the quiet strength required for this role. Of course, I’ll get around to seeing Lincoln, but you should all check this one out too, if you’re interested in the period.

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