- Origin: 10/25
- Story: 6/25
- Camera/SFX: 15/25
- Performance: 12/25
In a picturesque village in England, Joan Stanley (Academy Award (R) winner Dame Judi Dench), lives in contented retirement. Then suddenly her tranquil existence is shattered as she’s shockingly arrested by MI5. For Joan has been hiding an incredible past; she is one of the most influential spies in living history… Cambridge University in the 1930s, and the young Joan (Sophie Cookson), a demure physics student, falls intensely in love with a seductively attractive Russian saboteur, Leo. Through him, she begins to see that the world is on a knife-edge and perhaps must be saved from itself in the race to military supremacy. Post-war and now working at a top secret nuclear research facility, Joan is confronted with the impossible: Would you betray your country and your loved ones, if it meant saving them? What price would you pay for peace? Inspired by an extraordinary true story, Red Joan is the taut and emotional discovery of one woman’s sacrifice in the face of incredible circumstances. A woman to whom we perhaps all owe our freedom.
- Rated: R( (Brief sexuality/nudity)
- Genre: Drama and Romance
- Directed by: Trevor Nunn
- Written by: Lindsay Shapero
- Release date: 19th April, 2019 (Wide)
- Length: 110 minutes
- Studio: IFC Films
|Judi Dench||Joan Stanley|
|Sophie Cookson||Young Joan|
|Stephen Campbell Moore||Max Davis|
|Tom Hughes||Leo Galich|
|Laurence Spellman||Patrick Adams|
|Tereza Srbova||Sonya Galich|
I found it loosely based on the novel, there was more action in the novel though and that was a book. I just felt it was slow and had none of the good bits of the book, and it tried to be more of a antiwar film than a spy drama. I was looking for more substance, it got bogged down in the politics and long speeches. This was a missed opportunity.
Judi Dench has been limited in most of her scenes. It seems they used her for the advertising to get more to watch the film. It lacked content and got stuck in the complicated details of the script. It just dragged through most of it, Judi did her best to keep it going but sadly the cons out weighed the pros. I loved the direction of the film at one point, but then it didn’t last long and it ended up getting distorted and was underwhelming.
Effects were boring and camera placement was nothing special, it was like they just read their lines and recorded it, no commitment or entertainment. Some emotional scenes were good, they did focus on the romantic side quite a bit, I was left thought with something missing, a sense of shock or something that moved me.
Most of the cast wasn’t that good, Judo Dench had the most talent, but wasn’t used enough. Sophie Cookson also did a good job, its hard to be playing the same role as Judi Dench and she manages to set the tone right and be a younger and fresher version of Joan Stanley. The overall cast was ok, many were lacking the right characteristics and commitment that the two main stars had.