A Most Wanted Man has quite suddenly received a large amount of press after the shock-news that one of its stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died over the weekend. Hoffman is known for his flawless performances in films such as The Master, Syncecdoche, New York, The Big Lebowski, Capote, (which earned him a well-deserved Oscar) Doubt and Moneyball , as well as the massive Hunger Games franchise. He is an actor whose contribution to cinema is immense, and if early reviews are anything to go by, his performance in this latest offering, directed by Anton Corbijn ( Control, The American) is no exception.
The film, based on a John Le Carré novel of the same name and adapted for screen by Andrew Bovell (Blessed , Lantana , Strictly Ballroom ), is set in post- 9/11 Hamburg, the city where the 2001 attacks were planned and where intelligence operatives remain in a state of heightened readiness over a decade later.
The story centres around Issa Karpove (played by Grigoriv Dobrygin) a 26-year-old half-Chechen, half-Russian Muslim who arrives in Hamburg showing obvious signs of torture and desperate to gain asylum but, unwittingly or not, gets caught up in the international war on terror. Hoffman plays hard-drinking Gunter Bachmann, head of an anti-terrorism team, and other star-turns come from Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Midnight in Paris, To The Wonder), who plays a young human-rights lawyer, and Willem Defoe (Out of the Furnace, Grand Budapest Hotel, Spider Man, Antichrist) who takes on the role of a super-smooth banker.
Since the 1960s, Le Carré’s books have made it onto the big-screen in films such as the Oscar-nominated The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, as well as the Oscar-winning The Constant Gardener. Here a familiar trope of the writer (who retains an ‘executive producer’ credit) will be recognised, that of espionage as un-glamorous - where the spies are real and the work can be demanding and thankless. As Corbijn recently said in an interview, ‘it’s a slow-paced film… we’re dealing with realistic stuff. There’s no explosions.’
UK release dates have not yet been announced, but you can be sure that everyone will be lining up to see the latest film from a novelist who never disappoints, but also one of the last films to showcase one of the greatest actors of the last few decades, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
|A Most Wanted Man, Cinemas across London
|Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5DY | MAP
|Leicester Square (underground)
01 Feb 14 – 31 Dec 14, 12:00 AM