Oliver Stone’s controversial new movie “Snowden” got a pre-Toronto Film Festival screening last night in East Hampton for New York media elite and others (like me). The occasion was that Stone was out east for a respite before his Toronto gala on September 9th, the official world premiere.
Among the people I ran into were Joy Behar, Katie Couric, Bob Balaban (and wife Lynn on crutches), Christie Brinkley– who brought her burgeoning actor son Jack, Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker (it’s not his film, but he wanted to see it), Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen and Patricia Duff, and so on.
Stone is absolutely one of my favorite film directors, from “Salvador” to “Savages,” so I was certainly curious about “Snowden,”which stars Joseph Gordon Levitt and Shailene Woodley with nice supporting work from Rhys Ifans and Scott Eastwood among others. Melissa Leo plays doc maker Laura Poitras, Zachary Quinto is Glenn Greenwald. Tom Wilkinson, Joely Richardson, and Nicolas Cage are also prominently featured.
No reviews til September 9th but I do think “Snowden” will cause an uproar in good ways– there will be lots of discussion. Stone had 8 or 9 meetings with the spy, hero or traitor (pick any) in Russia, he says. The director also brought along NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, who is really interesting and had a lot to say about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (He doesn’t like any of them.)
I really enjoyed “Snowden” because it’s a real movie. No one wore a cape, there was no gunplay or violence, everyone kept their clothes on, and the subject matter had to do with our lives and our future. Hard to believe. Also, there’s a chance I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube. It’s all good!