Saturday, September 24, 2011



Although Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is at the heart of it, this is a film about one man’s 10-year struggle to be heard.

Harry Markopoulos, a portfolio manager in a Boston options-trading firm along with his colleague Frank Casey tried repeatedly to warn the authorities of Madoff’s malfeasance. They even approached the Wall Street Journal and other reputable news outlets with their story.

How these agencies handled the information provided them is to gain an insight into what prompts people in power to wilfully ignore the facts.

The main shortcoming of this documentary is not having an on-screen interview of any of these individuals and no mention that such an attempt was made.


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Mostly in English with subtitles as required

Helen Mirren: retired Mossad secret agent Rachel Singer
Romi Aboulafia: her daughter Sarah
Tom Wilkinson: former Mossad agent Stefan Gold
CiarĂ¡n Hinds: former Mossad agent David Peretz
Jessica Chastain: 25-year-old Rachel
Marton Csokas: the young Stefan
Sam Worthington: the young David
Jesper Christensen: Dr. Dieter Vogel

Skipping back and forth between events in 1965 and 1997 in telling the story about an intelligence operation serves only to confuse the issue. In part because the older men look so unlike the younger versions and their relationship with Rachel is poorly defined. But the main problem is that most of the 1997 segments add nothing to the main storyline so why include them?

The acting is excellent across-the-board with several really difficult roles handled superbly.

for some violence, language.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



Gwyneth Paltrow: Executive Director Beth Emhoff
Matt Damon: her husband Mitch
Jude Law: freelance journalist and blogger Alan Krumwiede
Laurence Fishburne: CDC Deputy Director Dr. Ellis Cheever
Kate Winslet: CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer Dr. Erin Mears
Jennifer Ehle: epidemiologist Dr. Ally Hextall
Marion Cotillard: Dr. Leonora Orantes, investigator with the World Health Organization
Anna Jacoby-Heron: Mitch’s teenage daughter Jory

Following the evolution of a new strain of virus is not something new so most of what we get to see is somewhat predictable. Definitely closer to the truth than earlier versions it presents a realistic picture of the situation without the usual over-the-top big time disaster scenes.

Given the complexity of the story it is fairly easy to follow although there are a few too many storylines and not all are well developed.

As this is a world-wide problem as a bonus we get a mini-travelogue along with some fine performances by Winslet and Fishburne. The jarring soundtrack can be annoying at times.

for disturbing content and some language.

Beth phones the hotel front desk and says she’s “calling from room 812” which conventionally would be on the 8th floor but moments later she looks out the window and at best she’s on the 4th floor.