Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Exclusive: Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” Screens for NY Media Elite Pre-Toronto


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!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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