Weekend Film Recommendation: A Most Wanted Man

Film adaptations of John Le Carré’s books have already enjoyed some praise here at the RBC (e.g., see Keith’s reviews of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). In this weekend’s movie recommendation, we turn to another European spy caper in a more recent film from 2014, A Most Wanted Man.

In one of his final performances before his death last year, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Günther Bachmann, a grizzled operative working for German secret intelligence. His unit applies unconventional—and only rarely ethical—methods to secure information about terrorist groups. Bachmann is haunted by the specter of a monumentally failed past operation, and the pain lingers in his every step. Unlike the cliché this evokes (see my review of In the Line of Fire), Hoffman plays the role with a studious lack of any hint of self-forgiveness. He smokes and drinks relentlessly, and he assumes that the blame for errors beyond his control is entirely his own.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 01.12.32

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