I don´t care what you might have heard about The Fifth Estate, about its pace, about the script… I really don’t. You only need to know THIS: Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl make every single minute be worth it, and that is good enough for us all.
So go to church or wherever and thank God that someone put them there to present us with two hours of spectacular acting and owning the place.
It can look boring at some points because, yes, the plot moves slowly, but that´s about it.
I don´t want to get into the actual story of what happened, although I will just state the obvious: yes, what Assange did was wrong. I am referring, of course, to the fact that he published all those leaks from Chelsea –former Bradley- Manning without removing the names of those who could be endangered. And there is a moment on this film when he justifies his decision, along with an impressive epilogue delivered by master Cumberbatch splendidly –really, that last bit of script…
And that is where my judgement on Assange ends.
But let´s not forget, like Cumberbatch says in the last five minutes, that this film is told from the perspective of my beloved The Guardian and Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and they basically want you to know that HEY, ASSANGE IS A CYNICAL EGOMANIAC WHO DOESN´T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, despite other people being the reason of creating WikiLeaks, despite actually being a cynical egomaniac and despite all the good stuff that he did before the Manning leaks –like the famous turning point video “Collateral Murder” of the killings in Iraq, which, as a -wannabe- journalist, always leaves me speechless.
Again, let´s not forget that I still find inexplicable that the names weren´t taken out.
Their performances are what keep this movie alive. Not only their easiness to work with each other, but also the tension, the depth! I guess Brühl is going to get more hype with Ron Howard´s Rush, but Cumberbatch is breathtaking, and he deserves any recognition that may come in the future.
(Don´t get me wrong: Brühl is also great, but he is as much of a lead here as Cumberbatch, and that often means that one is overshadowed for award season. And, let´s be honest, the famous character here is Assange…I didn´t even know who Domscheit-Berg was until a year ago! Oh, and the Academy LOVES it when actors do a different accent from their own, sooo, yeah Brühl…Rush).
The acting from all the other actors is also fantastic, but with a much smaller amount of screen time: Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Carice van Houten, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens or David Thewlis. Nice work, lads.
In short, the film revolves around moral questions and the relationship between Domscheit-Berg and Assange. And, of course, lots of journalistic work and some sense of being “behind the scenes” of major events that we already knew.
And I don´t think this needs to be pointed out, but Julian Asssange is not happy AT ALL with this film. He even wrote to Cumberbatch to prevent him from doing it, so you can imagine him in his room at the Ecuador Embassy trying to find some way of destroying the movie´s reputation, because I am guessing he has quite a lot of free time, right?
Of course he does.
The intro of the film is one of the best I have ever seen. It shows us the evolution of communication, from early scribes to iPads, and it´s simply beautiful. They had me at “typewriter”.
I don´t really want to talk about the director, Bill Condon, because he is responsible for those disasters called The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 and Part 2. So let´s just pretend this never happened. We are cool.
If you want to see a good film with Daniel Brühl –apart from the obvious Good Bye, Lenin and Inglorious Basterds-, I would recommend Salvador (Puig Antich), about the last person who was executed in Spain by garrote vil –google it, but it´s painful-. Oh yes, because Brühl is half Spanish, of course…
Who else is excited about the upcoming return of Sherlock? If the broadcast date for U.S. is on January 19th, that must mean that it will be earlier than that in UK!
One thing is true: Information has changed. Forever.