Shadow Dancer (15)

Dec 04, 2013
Cranbrook Film Society

Not unlike “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”, this slow-burn saga takes its time. But the attention it calls for pays off down the line thanks to riveting performances and tense, water-tight plotting.

Set in 1990s Belfast, the story follows MI5 agent Mac (Clive Owen) who convinces a vulnerable young member of the IRA, Collette (Angela Riseborough), to work for him and his agency to take down other IRA members. However, this is more complicated than he first realised as the IRA begins to suspect there is a mole and MI5 may have another mole planted whose identity is top secret. Bolstered by wonderful performances from the likes of Owen, Gillian Anderson, Domhnall Gleeson and particularly rising star Riseborough as the woman conflicted between her long-standing beliefs and keeping her family safe, Shadow Dancer is a very well made film that’s very handsome to look at.

Oscar-winning director James Marsh is clearly a man who has a handle on the topics he chooses to deal with. Using a deft script by Tom Bradby (who also wrote the novel) he has constructed a film that deals with a difficult topic in a way that’s intriguing. The plot is unpredictable, which is always a good thing, and the ending is just about perfect for the story being told. A denouement that’s completely satisfying.

Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Domhnall Gleeson

Awards: Seven wins including Best Actress for Riseborough at British Independent Film Awards 2012, and seven nominations.

James Marsh | UK | 2012 | 101 mins | 15


            Weighted vote 78%