Fair Game: Quality Movie Review
Fair Game Photos--Metromix
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn star in the true story of exposed undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame
I just returned from watching a second movie in two weeks that left me angry. The first was the documentary Inside Job which detailed the individuals and events that brought the country and the world to its knees with the collapse of the housing bubble and subprime mortgage market in 2008. Fair Game is a quasi documentary of the Valery Plame affair and the lies about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction by the Bush administration leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.The title of the movie is a remark attributed to Karl Rove who referred to Valerie Plame as "fair game" following the publication of her husband's NY Times op-ed contesting the White House's "yellow cake from Africa claims."
Fair Game was directed by Doug Liman (director of The Bourne Identity) and written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth using source material from Plame's and Wilson's books about the episode. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn were superb as Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson. David Andrews captured what I imagine to be Scooter Libby's personality and character. Adam LeFevre was suitably porcine and slimy as Karl Rove. Sam Shepard appeared in a cameo as Sam Plame, Valerie's father. Chet Grissom played the cowardly director of CIA operations, who bore a striking resemblance to Bush's CIA director George Tenet. Brian McComish played Steven Hadley and Michael Goodwin, David Addington who, with Libby, at Dick Cheney's behest, ran a shadow CIA operation cherry picking "intelligence" which they used to pressure the CIA to accede to their false claims that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program, mobile biological laboratories and stocks of poison gas as well as to the dramatic claim by Bush on television before the invasion that Iraq had bought yellow cake uranium from Niger. Bush and Cheney were depicted with television news clips.
The movie interwove two themes--the battle between the Cheney and his henchmen and the CIA over intelligence on WMD and the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent following her husband's op-ed disputing the false yellow cake uranium claim by President Bush and-- the damaging effect Plame's outing and dismissal by the CIA had on her marriage to Wilson. They were separated for a period after Plame's 34-year career at CIA was ended by the Bush administration's revelation that she was employed by the intelligence agency following Wilson's op-ed denying the administration's claim that Iraq had bought yellow cake uranium from Niger. Scooter Libby took the fall for others in the Bush administration (presumably Cheney and Rove) and was indicted and convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice and sentenced for his role in Plame's outing. His sentence was commuted quickly by President Bush, but Bush refused, to Cheney's chagrin, to pardon Libby so that he would be able to resume his career as a lawyer.
The movie ended with an eloquent speech by Sean Penn/Joe Wilson about the meaning of our republic and the duty of all citizens to help preserve and protect it. I hope the speech will be available on YouTube. Everyone should watch it.
Official Movie Website
- Fair Game - Official Movie Website
From the director of The Bourne Identity and starring Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts and Academy Award winner Sean Penn. Now playing in select cities.
11-4-10-NYTimes--A.O. Scott Review of "Fair Game"
- A.O. Scott Review of "Fair Game"
When Plame and her colleagues find extensive evidence that Iraq is not actively developing weapons of mass destruction, their conclusions are overridden by men from the office of the vice president, most notably I. Lewis Libby Jr., known as Scooter..
"Fair Game" Review by Roger Ebert
- "Fair Game" Review by Roger Ebert
This isn't an angry attack picture. Wilson and Plame are seen as loyal government employees, not particularly political until they discover the wrong information. The implication is that if Bush hadn't suppressed their information and smeared them..
11-5-10Christian Science Monitor--Fair Game: Movie Review
- Fair Game: movie review - CSMonitor.com
The political thriller 'Fair Game' serves up righteous outrage at the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Fresh Reviews: Fair Game
- Fresh Reviews: "Fair Game"
Rated PG-13 for strong language. * * * * * * * * * * The story of Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame is to me... and I think a good many others... one of the most fascinating and...
10-22-2007NYTimes--Janet Maslin's review of Valerie Plame Wilson's Book "Fair Game"
- Fair Game - Valerie Plame Wilson - Books - Review - New York Times
Valerie Plame Wilson emerges as an ambitious, gung-ho professional, dedicated to her work yet colorful in ways no Hollywood storyteller would dare to make up.
9-5-2005 Mostly Fiction--Jana Perskie's Review of Joseph C. Wilson IV's book "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA
- Joseph C. Wilson : The Politics of Truth : Book Review
Read a review of The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity by Joseph C. Wilson at MostlyFiction.
The Secret Life of Valerie Plame
- The Secret Life of Valerie Plame
John Updike once wrote, From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few. When you hear about CIA these days, the name Valerie...