Monday, March 18, 2013

Movie of the Week – Farewell

This week’s movie: Farewell (2009).

During the Cold War, high ranking Soviet official Sergei Gregoriev became frustrated with the corrupted bureaucracy within his government so he decided to divulge secrets to the West. To do this, he chose a non-professional spy in the form of French national Pierre Froment. His co-name was Farewell.

Farewell is the third film from French writer-director Christian Carion, who also made the very good WWI film Joyeux Noel. On this film, Carion worked with composer Clint Mansell (who often collaborates with Darren Aronofsky), Belgian cinematographer Walther van den Ende (who also shot the Oscar winner No Man’s Land), and production designer Jean-Michel Simonet (who has designed all three of Carion’s films).

The cast is very good with strong leading performances from Guillaume Canet (one of my favorite current French actors, and directors – he directed Tell No One) and Emir Kusturica. The supporting cast features Willem Dafoe, Fred Ward, Alexandra Maria Lara (from Downfall), Niels Arestrup, and Gary Lewis. Diane Kruger also has a cameo (probably due to her connection to Canet).

Farewell is a great spy thriller in the more classical sense. It does not have action sequences. Rather, it is built much more around characters and suspense, similarly to the recent version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This is another film that falls in the category of underrated and under seen. Fans of spy thrillers should very much enjoy it.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Streaming

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