Valerie Plame’s exposure by the Bush Administration premiered as a big Hollwood movie today in Cannes. The press applauded Doug Liman’s thriller “Fair Game” and rightly so. It’s a good movie. But the filmmakers are clearly scared of the press. Star Sean Penn has elected to stay away fron Cannes altogether. And the press has been excluded from any contact with Valerie Plame.
Still Naomi Watts turns in a powerful performance as the blonde bombshell spy, the kind of work that Jane Fonda or Julia Roberts would have done in their prime. She’ll be in the Oscar mix, certainly. Her career is notched up significantly.
Will audiences flock to this story? The truth is hard to take, especially about Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. And they may not want to receive it from Sean Penn, who gets to vent and be angry as Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, at all the perceived bad guys (including press). Penn as Wilson may be called out for being particularly abusive to a female reporter. It seems like a set up, frankly.
“Fair Game” is going to need a lot of enthusiasm from that very press if it’s going to make any money. But it’s a solid film that deserves an audience.