A MOST WANTED MAN

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 4, 2014

Marking the final leading role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, “A Most Wanted Man” is an espionage thriller from the same author as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Intricate and complex in design, Hoffman delivers a powerhouse of a performance as Günther Bachmann, adding fervor to an otherwise extremely dense subject matter. Much in the same way that Gary Oldman was the perfect actor to carry the heavy role of George Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Hoffman becomes Bachmann almost effortlessly, English accent and all. Bachmann is a German espionage agent in charge of a group of spies that are seeking the whereabouts of a refuge named Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who they eventually hope to use to flush out a local Muslim philanthropist, Dr. Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi) of whom they suspect has ties to Al Qaeda. In a way that only author John le Carré can, the rabbit hole that these characters wind down is so expertly designed that the film requires an active viewer, taking in the subtle facts and building a case of their own.

Filled with plenty of turncoats and shifting agendas, the narrative, although often unclear, does take shape and packs a punch by the time the credits roll. In the same slow-burn way that “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” unfolds, the resolution rewards the active viewer with some highly charged sequences, including several highlights of Hoffman’s career. This being one of his final performances, you cannot help but draw similarities between his character’s struggles and his own, begging the question of how much personal baggage an actor brings to his characters. What also adds a different dynamic to the film is the diverse cast of actors and actresses used throughout. Everyone from Robin Wright, who plays an American diplomatic attache, to Willem Dafoe, who plays a banker who eventually cooperates with Bachmann, to Rachel McAdams, who plays an immigration lawyer contacted by Karpov. With these brilliant supporting players creating a solid foundation for Hoffman’s leading role, “A Most Wanted Man” becomes the perfect companion piece for John le Carré’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

RELEASE DATE
August 1, 2014

DIRECTOR
Anton Corbijn

WRITTEN BY
Andrew Bovell

BASED ON
“A Most Wanted Man”
by John le Carré

STUDIO
Lionsgate

R
(for language)

CRIME
DRAMA
THRILLER

122 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Benoît Delhomme

COMPOSER
Herbert Grönemeyer

EDITOR
Claire Simpson

CAST
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Rachel McAdams
Willem Dafoe
Robin Wright
Grigoriy Dobrygin
Homayoun Ershadi
Nina Hoss
Daniel Brühl

PRODUCED BY
Stephen Cornwell
Gail Egan
Malte Grunert
Simon Cornwell
Andrea Calderwood

BUDGET
$15 million

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