Snowden (2016)


Biography | Drama | Thriller


Oliver Stone


Germany | USA


Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Robert Firth, Edward Snowden


Disillusioned with the intelligence community, top contractor Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leaves his job at the NSA and leaks to the press thousands of classified documents.


"Snowden" is one of 2016 films I was the most excited about, in part because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Oliver Stone - even though the latter disappointed me several times -, but mostly because of the role Levitt plays here, Edward Snowden, easily one of the most fascinating Americans alive. I was expecting a good film, and that's what I got.

I have to say that it takes guts to make a film about film. Not any film, but the Academy Award winner documentary "Citizenfour", and Oliver Stone really did a great job. Of course the film doesn't only tell the story everybody knows - well, I hope everybody do -, but it also takes time to tell the story of a man, considered a traitor by some, a hero by others.

However, even though the film is highly engaging - I indeed found myself glued to the screen -, Stone did a terrible mistake, which is pretty common in biographies: he leans on the way that paints Snowden as a spotless hero.

A real surprise to me was the attention the relationship between Snowden and his girlfriend gets in the film. I was worried the film would turn into some sort of love story because of Hollywood's need of a love interest basically in every single movie, but it was very interesting and actually important for the development of Snowden's character.

"Snowden" also features a solid, smart dialogue, a good direction, a more than average cinematography and an effective score.

The most important though is the cast. First of all, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Edward Snowden as he manages to keep the character likable and relatable. The excellent supporting cast also helps, with Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson and Shailene Woodley. I was pleasantly surprised by Nicolas Cage's performance. He was in a better shape. Scott Eastwood though was miscast. It's really hard to imagine him as a tech genius.

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