Review: The Report | HerCanberra

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Review: The Report

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Idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovers shocking secrets. IMDb 

It hardly needs to be said that this is based on a real story.

However, I will reiterate that this film is based on real people who did real things to other people and the real report that they tried to bury deeper than nuclear waste.

That kept me awake at night longer than any Stephen King horror film ever has done.

Do you need help reading the redacted word in the title? Have you heard of waterboarding? Did you know that this was carried out under the guidance of two psychs who’d written papers, tested theories on themselves yet had no real-world experience of interrogating prisoners?

Despite the level of despair I felt watching this unfold I also had to admire the acting. Annette Bening is devoid of glamour but loaded with sincerity in her portrayal of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

John Ham, another politician, has Kennedy-like charm and truly believes he is the good guy…albeit a good guy who will get into bed with the CIA if it helps get whatever Bill he is pushing get over the line.

I was torn between the story (I barely blinked) and wanting to play ‘pick the quality character actor’ because this is jampacked with some of the best. Maura Tierney, Michael C. Hall, Alexander Chaplin—they’re all good, without a shred of caricature in their portrayal of people who believe in the justness of what they are doing. The way every single actor plays down their roles is a credit to The Report’s writer/director Scott Z. Burns.

It should also be noted that it would have been so easy to go for overblown judgment. It would have garnered an Oscar for Adam Driver if he’d broken down, defied authority, had a wailing, destructive rant or two. But no, just like the real Daniel J. Jones, Driver is stoic and courageous, working within the system to bring a shameful story to light.

Driver impresses me more each time I see him—the way he plays down a role with the stillness and pent-up emotion he can bring to a scene means this role was always going to be the perfect fit.

Can’t wait to see what he does next. Oh wait, it’s The Rise of Skywalker—talk about great expectations.

Roslyn saw this film as a guest of Dendy Cinemas, Canberra.

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