TIFF: Snowden

I feel much better now. If you read my Amanda Knox review, you may remember that I was close to TIFF burnout last night. Well,  I did what I hate doing: I made the tough choice of skipping my Midnight Madness movie last night and finally got some good sleep. Nothing like watching four more movies to make an unsettling documentary but a distant memory. I’m excited about TIFF again.

Seeing Oliver Stone take the stage to introduce Snowden (which I’ve been dying to see) didn’t hurt. Stone hasn’t made a particularly good movie in awhile and, come to think of it, has never really made a film that I love, but seeing him at TIFF still feels like a big deal. And, thankfully, my concerns about whether or not he could handle this tricky material were unnecessary.

I mean, it’s not perfect. It tries to do way too much and is about 20 minutes longer than it really should be. But it tells and/or speculates about the story that I felt 2014’s Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour missed out on. It tells us about Snowden the man. Wonderfully played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Snowden is easy to root for and easy to relate to. I’d even argue that Stone’s film does a better job of  making the case that all of us should care about illegal NSA surveillance. Even if we feel we have nothing to hide.

Of course, this isn’t a documentary and it’s easier to inspire outrage in a dramatization of events. Snowden isn’t a substitution for Citizenfour, which is an important documentary that everyone should see. It is, however, an interesting and worthy companion piece that will likely make you appreciate Snowden’s sacrifice even more and think twice about getting changed in front of your laptop.

 

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29 thoughts on “TIFF: Snowden

  1. ridicuryder

    Matt,

    I don’t think Oliver Stone makes movies that people love…except maybe weirdos who get a buzz from looking very closely at the underbelly of things…I’m a bit of a weirdo, but I mostly feel disturbed by Stone’s movies.

    I’m doing all kinds of crazy / dangerous / wild / spooky shit in front of my laptop.

    How concerned should I be?

    RR

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      I agree that his films can be tough but I often love movies that are confrontational or upsetting if they’re exceptionally well-made. I don’t think I’ve ever really connected with any of his movies though I admire some of them.
      Just put some tape over your camera.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Billy

    Gorgeous ladies (sorry they distracted me from my original Stone comment, i will no doubt watch Snowden as my husband is quite concerned about internet privacy), but now I want to see Sing, with these women, I have to look it up, see whether you wrote about it!

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      1. Billy

        Aaaah that makes sense…. You can tell how busy I am that I didn’t get a chance to Google it yet. Shame though, I love a good woman ensemble movie.

        Like

  3. Khalid Rafi

    Well your thoughts definitely give me more hope for it than I originally had. I’m mostly just glad Cage has finally got a movie with a big director and is not starring in complete trash for once.

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    1. Matt Post author

      The audience found it hard not to snicker when he was on screen. He was distracting to be honest but it did make sense to cast someone recognizable because he would pop up ocassionally and it helped thinking of him as “Nic Cage” to remember who he was.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      Me too. I had so many questions about him that Citizenfour wasn’t responsible enough to ask. At least here Stone asks those questions, even if he has to make up or dramatize the answers.

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      Reply
  4. Jenna and Allie (@FlickChicksBlog)

    I watched Citizenfour a few months ago, and I can’t describe how I feel about it. I wanted to say ‘I loved it!’ but it’s not the kind of movie anyone should really love. It’s quite a terrifying reality, and I’m really excited to see the glitzy version. Glad to hear your thoughts on it!
    – Allie

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  5. J.

    I’m interested in this one, but haven’t been all that impressed by anything Stone’s done in quite a while. (since Any Given Sunday, actually – one of his best alongside U Turn, I reckon).

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  6. Brittani

    This is one of my most anticipated movies. I really wanted it to be an Oscar vehicle for JGL, but the meh reviews seem to be killing my fantasy. I’m glad you enjoyed it, I hope I will too.

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    Reply
  7. Pingback: TIFF 2016: Barry | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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