"Snowden" has definitely screened for a select few critics

Yesterday I reporter that I knew a critic that saw Oliver Stone's much delayed "Snowden." Well now I've gotten another few emails, one of which is another negative view of Stone's film, but there is a positive one and it goes along with what I pretty much expect from this film. This is Oliver Stone, it won't be a boring watch, but cinephiles are looking for more than just that. They want the artful, intriguing Stone that seemed so unpredictable during the peak years (1986-1991) when he released "Salvador," "Platoon," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Wall Street" and "JFK."





"Low key but engaging, smartly done, tells the tale. The story is the story. Not an infantilized CG fantasy but adult, real world, complex & highly intelligent. Loved the CG digital sequence that shows how surveillance works on a personal, always expanding, ultimately global & nearly infinite basis. This is Oliver's best film since "Any Given Sunday" -- a return to form.  JGL delivers a grimmer, more concerned, less mild-mannered version of Ed Snowden than the Real McCoy. Shalene plays the proverbial girlfriend who gives the protagonist shit over being too work-oriented or being too closed off or emotionally inaccessible. Nic Cage as the olde marginalized CIA guy who shares Snowden's assessments & concerns. Dr. Spock delivers a good Glenn Greenwald. Open Road has been shifting release dates & treating this like a hot potato, not giving it the award-season treatment but it's a solid, entirely decent film -- a disciplined, fully respectable dramatic narrative complement to "Citizenfour." Yes, it's an "Oliver's point of view" film. And that's fine. Yes, most Americans will say they prefer security over freedom from constant surveillance. This is the price we pay in an era of radical jihadist Islamic terror but the movie explains that the ability to organize and campaign against this or that governmental abuse or shortcoming or worse is essential to maintaining a strong working Democracy. What if God forbid a real bad guy with a fascist agenda were to be elected President? The NSA apparatus is in place to recreate Orwell's "1984" and then some. I suspect that Laura Poitras is perhaps a tiny bit unhappy about being played by the always excellent Melissa Leo, simply because ML looks a good five if not ten years older than Laura's age & is somewhat less attractive." 
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