Sunday, July 29, 2018


Director Peter Landesman (the superb JFK assassination film - PARKLAND) returns to iconic American history with this character study cum procedural of how Mark Felt - a 30 year veteran of the FBI - helped the Washington Post journalists Woodward and Bernstein expose the White House's involvement in the Watergate robbery and so triggered the resignation of Richard Nixon.

The resulting film is a handsomely shot and acted, compelling drama about a loyal man pushed to protect the integrity of his institution at great personal risk.  That said, he is also shown overstepping the mark in illegally wiretapping in pursuit of a terrorist group.  But overall, we are rightly meant to see Mark Felt as a hero. I loved the shooting style - Washington as a grey town full of grey men in grey suits.  I loved the subtle power plays - men overlooked for promotion - the flexing of political muscle. And I loved that Landesman allowed Felt to look compromised. Yes, he is doing something noble, but is there also a tinge of revenge against the man who got the job he wanted? This is truly nuanced and intelligent film-making and a must-see for all Watergate obsessives. 

MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE has a running time of 103 minutes and is rated PG-13. The film played Toronto 2017 and opened that year. 

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