Aug 16, 2011

Tradecraft: Page Eight to Close Toronto Film Festival; Trailer Revealed

Deadline reports that David Hare's all-star BBC spy drama Page Eight (which we first heard about last November and glimpsed some footage of in May) will have its international premiere on the big screen at the Toronto Film Festival, where it will screen as the closing night gala. The festival press release offers a more in-depth plot synopsis than I've seen elsewhere:
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny's striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.
The film premiered in the UK in June at the Edinburgh Film Festival, garnering a review from This Is London that compared it favorably to the Gold Standard of cerebral spy TV: "Page Eight takes all the best bits from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, cuts away the slow bits and comes up with the best cinematic exposé of how the British establishment operates since Harold Pinter collaborated with Joseph Losey on The Servant. Hare's dialogue is easily a match for Pinter's. Funnier, too." Wow! If that's even half-true, I know I'll be enthralled. That review concludes that the fact that this movie is bound for TV this fall (BBC in the UK and PBS in the US) "is a shame, since the film easily fills the big screen." The Guardian was less ecstatic, but still echoed that sentiment: "No doubt it will suit the small screen well, but it holds its own in the cinema, with a classy, stately feel to its photography, and nicely judged performances from the leads."

Here's the full teaser:

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