Netflix movie finds

I can see the appeal of celebrities playing an alternative version of themselves (masturbatory as it is), but IMO Keanu’s cameo is just painful to watch.

There is one scene where they tried to recreate the famous Notting Hill press conference, ended up sucking all the fun and charm out of it and practically made Randall Park get down on his knees to beg.

Operation Mincemeat, based on the famed WW2 espionage operation and Ben Macintyre book, is pretty good. Those who are familiar with the book won’t necessarily learn anything new, and predictably will roll their eyes at the ways the writers have juiced up the history in spots for drama. But, even so, this is a solid, old-fashioned espionage drama, with some of the juicing working both dramatically and as commentary on the nature of the spy business.

The main pleasure, though, is seeing a whole bunch of talented and familiar actors all in the same place. Look, there’s Galahad from Kingsmen (Colin Firth,) Margaret from Boardwalk Empire (Kelly Macdonald,) Isobel from Downton Abbey (Penelope Wilton) and Tom from Succession (Matthew Macfayden) all teaming up to invent stories about a corpse. There’s Mycroft from Sherlock popping in ever so briefly for a couple of scenes. And there’s a mini The Death of Stalin reunion, except this time Marshal Zhukhov is playing a British general and Beria is playing Churchill.

It’s a very enjoyable film, as you say largely based on the pleasure of watching a large group of exceptional actors chew up some very good dialog. A real pleasant surprise.

We watched Operation Mincemeat and agreed that it was okay. I had hoped that I would’ve enjoyed it more given the cast and subject matter.

But the love triangle didn’t add anything to the story and detracted from it IMHO.

Spending more time on the German officer and will he/won’t he would have been more interesting. They went to the effort of casting that role and showing it but did nothing with it.

Probably deserves its own thread, but this looks crazy. June 17th.

I’ve read some George Saunders stories, but not that one. His stuff is often super depressing.

It’s weird that there’s a bit in the trailer of someone reading the book that the story the movie is based on is in. Not sure how I feel about that.

Interesting choice of music in the trailer. I can’t figure out if this is a comedy or a horror or what?

I just watched Operation Mincemeat and now I want to read the book it’s based on. Were all the principals based on real people? Including the guy played by Matthew MacFadyen (haven’t seen him in Succession, but he was in Spooks about 15 to 20 years ago, and was Mr. Darcy opposite Kiera Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennett in YA film of Pride and Prejudice), with the hard to spell last name more or less pronounced “Chumbley”?

I wonder if the sister of the poor guy whose corpse they used was a real person who showed up like that. The film also leaves in question whether this supposedly anti-Hitler Von Roenne guy in the Abwehr passed on to Hitler information that he knew was false. It was cool that they got an actor (Will Keen) who spoke both native Spanish and English to play the British liaison dude. I just saw him in the Masterpiece series Ridley Road.

According to this LA Times story, the answers would appear to be ‘yes.’ Although the love triangle seems to have been introduced.

Fun fact, and one I don’t think the movie touches on, is that the idea was based on the Trout Memo which Ian Fleming played a role. Que the Bond music.

I would never have gotten to Chumbley from Cholmondeley

According to the LA Times, Ashford (the screenwriter) dramatized a few other small elements of “Operation Mincemeat,” including a scene where Glyndwr Michael’s sister is told about his death. The sister character is an invention to help convey that Michael wasn’t simply a prop in a spy mission; he was a real man.

We watched it over the weekend and loved it. A really well done story.

I’m also of the opinion that Colin Firth is amazing in everything I see him in.

This is the main reason to watch The Staircase on HBOMax. Firth is amazing.

Great tip, thank you for that. I’ll see if we can line it up over this extended weekend.

I noticed that RRR seems to be available on Netflix in a few territories now. If you don’t know what that is, then, uh, brace yourself.

Patrick Willems was gushing about it.

It does, just a bit. When the plan is first introduced Godfrey says, sort of out of the side of his mouth, something like “with help from my assistant, Ian”. Much later someone makes a point to ask “what’s the book about, Fleming?”.

Nice. I completely missed that.

Looks to be available here in Maine and how can I not watch this?!

Yeah, that character is meant to be Ian Fleming, and I think the voice-over narration is the same Fleming character telling the tale.

If you told me that was a film Mel Gibson was directing under a pseudonym, I’d believe you.

Interceptor just popped up and, while very skipable, is one of those terrible in a sometimes funny way but probably still earnest movies. Chris Hemsworth (Elsa Pataky’s husband) co-stars executive produces and has a bizarre bit part.

This guy summed it up really well, I thought:

The movie is written and directed by Matthew Reilly - an Australian author of several atrocious (but best-selling) action novels. It was also filmed in Sydney so maybe Chris figured it was a pay check during Covid ;)