A Sexual, Atmospheric, Cerebral Spy Thriller

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
The plot of All the Old Knives centers upon a plane hijacking in Vienna in 2012. Among the crew, two CIA agents Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) and Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton) are involved and both are lovers. The question is was there someone in the agency who provided information to the hijackers? Seemingly a dead case, it is reopened years later, and so are all the old wounds. It seems that Celia is now married, and living in Carmel, California, in a spectacular home with husband and two young children. So this allows the story to feature a stupendous restaurant in Carmel as the backdrop for a lunch that lasts for hours, and segues into dinner. We are treated to moody, atmospheric shots of damp Vienna as well. Laurence Fishburne appears as a somber, glaring  boss and Jonathan Price is a highly-strung, henpecked husband also in the agency at that time, but now retired. 
 
This is a wonderful film with beautiful cinematography as low-key as much of the hushed dialogue. Except for some violence when the airplane is hijacked, and a totally wonderful (and perhaps gratuitous) steamy sex scene between Pine and Newton, this film is not easy going. Most American television consists of jump cuts, flash, and pizzazz. This isn’t thanks to Danish director Janus Metz, it is distinctly European in style, pacing, and emotion. Clearly, this was the intention. Chris Pine was an executive producer along with others. It has been said that Michelle Williams was first thought for the role of Celia, but time passed and Ms. Newton signed on. 
 
The intense dinner highlighted almost all close-ups, which built dramatic tension as did the odd plot devices. Only a few guests were dining over the hours spent at table, and the ominous bit of the waitress who served Pine a special wine nervously spilling it, and hysterically leaving never to return. She was replaced by the bartender who said she was pregnant and left, feeling ill. Hhmmm.
 
Famed author Olen Steinhauer wrote the screenplay from his New York Times best-selling book.
 
Curl up with some pate, cognac, and a lover, and enjoy the mounting tension and queasy plot twists together on Amazon Prime. The lovely, low-key sex scenes will help. 

Read Related Posts...

Alice in Wonderland

Alice wasn’t the only one to learn a lesson in Wonderland! This Panto serves enough lesson for everyone 

A drama as tightly sprung as a Swiss timepiece

The Royale, a drama by Marco Ramirez, is now onstage at St. Stephen’s Theater in Center City Philadelphia. The Lantern Theater Company has delivered an intense, incandescent performance by every actor involved. The energy explodes from the intimate theater-in-the-round. Most seats are no more than twenty feet away from the action.

Matthew Amira, a star is born

Rocky, the Musical is now playing at Philadelphia’s historic Walnut Street Theatre until November 6. Matthew Amira stars as Rocky Balboa, and he is, quite simply, amazing. Don’t miss your chance to see his incandescent performance.

An Evita that throbs and sizzles with Latin life

Director Will Pomerantz, Choreographer Marcos Santana, and Scenic Designer Anna Louizos transport you to a steamy, sweaty tango bar in 1962, ten years after Eva Peron’s death, in a spicy, flashy production of Evita. Evita, the legendary musical which took Broadway and the world by storm, is now enjoying a new production at Bucks County Playhouse only until October 30. 

Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner in Bros (2022)

Shocking, provocative, adorable Bros

By now, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve seen commercials on YouTube, read interviews on a variety of media, and maybe even seen the film Bros, a gay romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane. Universal Pictures has used its considerable clout to get Bros booked into multiplexes everywhere starting September 30. On an LGBT+ meter, it is a 10 out of 10, and a must-see.