by David Schuster
A compelling subject combined with great acting almost always ends up in a favorable movie experience and that’s definitely true in “Fair Game”. This is the true story of CIA operative Valerie Plame who was outed by segments within the White House after they got upset with Plame’s husband on a report that contradicted their aims in Iraq. And you thought stuff like this couldn’t happen?
Plame is played by Naomi Watts and her husband, Joe Wilson is portrayed by Sean Penn. Both are marvelous (as always,) and both show the deep conviction they have for their jobs and their country. The bad guys meanwhile within the White House are Scooter Libby (who was convicted and then pardoned by George Bush) and Karl Rove (no conviction). They come across as incredibly heavy handed much like the NFL at times does with it’s rulings against its players.
You don’t have to have either a political or news background to get into the plot of this movie but it definitely helps. This was a story that unfolded fairly recently right before and after we invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein. At an hour and forty-five minutes the story moves at a slow pace (much like many baseball games I cover,) but the acting and story line overcome that.
My guess is that Watts will be nominated for her performance while Penn will not. That’s not to say that Penn wasn’t very good but his role is somewhat understated while Watts is the central character and who (pun intended) is often on the front line.
Ultimately, this husband and wife duo moved far away from Washington after the dust settled. But in the time the movie takes place they received an education to how that city really works and it’s passed on to us in this enjoyable movie……. my rating – a home run – three and a half stars for “Fair Game”