Somewhere between the Bourne films and the methodical Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy lives the espionage flick, Shadow Dancer. The film takes us back to the mid-1990s and a foiled bombing attempt by the IRA on a London Metro station. An MI5 agent known only as Mac (Clive Owen) gives the bomber a choice: decades in prison or spy for the government on the terrorist cell, which largely consists of her family. Collette (Andrea Riseborough) is legitimately on the fence because prison time means missing out on her son’s life. It’s not a terribly original dilemma, but Shadow Dancer is nonetheless effective thanks to Owen’s yeoman effort and a very solid performance by Riseborough, whom most audiences missed in this spring’s Disconnect. It’s deliberate rather than slow, a good choice by director James Marsh (Man on Wire) to extract all the tension he can from Collette’s unenviable circumstances.
Director: James Marsh
Producer: Chris Coen, Andrew Lowe, Ed Guiney, Joe Oppenheimer, Brahim Chioua, Norman Merry, Vincent Maraval, Rita Dagher and Tom Bradby
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen, Domhnall Gleeson, Brid Brennan, David Wilmot, Stuart Graham, Martin McCann and David Kendellen