An Officer and a Spy

After the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus (Louis Garrel) in 1894, army colonel Georges Picquart (Jean Dujardin) begins an investigation that jeopardizes Picquart’s career and life. The Dreyfus affair gets a surprisingly quiet treatment in the hands of Roman Polanski and Robert Harris (reunited after the much more thrilling Ghost Writer (2010)), but improves in its last hour when Picquart risks everything, defying the army chiefs. The scandal and its outspoken anti-Semitism has enough drama to keep the film going; it’s handsomely staged and Dujardin is solid in the lead. The romance between him and Emmanuelle Seigner lacks spark, though.

2019-France-Italy. 132 min. Color. Directed by Roman Polanski. Screenplay: Robert Harris, Roman Polanski. Novel: Robert Harris. Music: Alexandre Desplat. Cast: Jean Dujardin (Georges Picquart), Louis Garrel (Alfred Dreyfus), Emmanuelle Seigner (Pauline Monnier), Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Eric Ruf.

Trivia: Original title: J’accuse.

Venice: Grand Jury Prize.

 

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