Oliver Stone is having too much fun with Snowden.
I have this mental image of him, snickering and repeatedly punching the former NSA contractor’s arm as they watched the movie together. Because they did. Oliver Stone showed an unfinished version of Snowden to Edward Snowden, which should tell you volumes about this film.
This version of the story has Stone filling in the blanks left by Laura Poitras’ 2014 documentary, Citizenfour. It shows how Edward Snowden went from basic training to the CIA, and met his longtime girlfriend Lindsay along the way. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Snowden with loads of brainiac intensity, but it’s his voice that you’ll notice first. JGL is doing a first-rate Snowden impression, which is at once distracting and impressive. It sounded like he was struggling with a hairball at first, but I stopped noticing it about 10 minutes into the film. The cast as a whole is filled with interesting choices, like Nicholas Cage as an Agency instructor, and Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s photographer girlfriend (and apparent Selfie Queen). Melissa Leo is sweet and supportive as documentarian Laura Poitras and I was especially excited to see my new favorite actor, Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) as Snowden’s like-minded co-worker. Continue reading →