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MOVIE REVIEW: L’affaire Farewell

An espionage thriller with a nice change of pace

I thought this espionage thriller was a nice change of pace. It wasn’t Jason Bourne or James Bond…or any other JB with a million little gadgets and guns. Just a couple of regular guys passing secrets and trying to be good family men.

It’s sort of the pepper to the recently released Salt – which involved a Russian spy and lots of car chases and explosions.

The cars in this film usually sit in a parking lot, as one guy asks the other about his sons love of Queen.

And you know all these gorgeous women spies are always sleeping with on exotic beaches? Well, no beaches here, just lots of snow (the women may not be in bikinis, but they’re not too shabby).

Oh, and you think wives nag when you don’t take out the garbage or fix the sink properly – just try making a few extra dollars as a spy and see how much they flip out.

I found it interesting to see a part of history I wasn’t familiar with during the height of the Cold War.

It was a little distracting watching Fred Ward play Ronald Reagan, since he doesn’t look like him. It was similar to Anthony Hopkins playing Nixon; but after a few scenes you settle into those actors playing these Presidents.

I’m guessing this movie took a lot of liberties with what really happened (especially with Star Wars).

I did enjoy that this was a little different in regards to the family life we got to witness. It’s not something you normally see in a spy movie. And that doesn’t mean there weren’t some thrilling scenes, either.

The way a passing cars headlights show someone hiding in the backseat of a car, or a family impatiently waiting to get by a border checkpoint when the s*** has hit the fan.

Serbian director Emir Kusturica plays a Russian spy, and is fascinating to watch on screen.

Willem Defoe is the biggest name in the film, and he’s great in his few scenes. I especially liked when he explains a situation to someone in a way that another movie would’ve made condescending and unrealistic.

I did think the movie was a bit slow at times; and, this is the third sub-titled film I’ve seen in a month that had words written in white, and on a white background, they were hard to read. Why won’t people make sub-titles white letters with black borders, so that they’ll be readable no matter what color is in the background?

I’m giving this movie, loosely based on a true story, a C+.