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THE COURIER – Abel Korzeniowski

March 23, 2021 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Courier is an old-fashioned slow burn Cold War spy thriller in the classic John Le Carré mold, directed by Dominic Cooke. The film tells the true story of Greville Wynne, a middle-class English businessman who is recruited by both the CIA and MI6 to act as a go-between in their dealings with Oleg Penkovsky, a high-ranking official in Soviet military intelligence who wants to defect to the west. Wynne is instrumental in obtaining information about the Soviet nuclear missile programme, helping Penkovsky smuggle details out of Moscow and back to London; the intelligence he gathers is crucial to ending the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but it comes at great personal cost to Wynne and his family. The film is anchored by a brilliant lead performance from Benedict Cumberbatch as Wynne, a typical everyman who is thrust almost against his will into a world of espionage that he knows nothing about; he is ably supported by Merab Ninidze as Penkovsky, Jessie Buckley as Wynne’s long-suffering wife Sheila, and Rachel Brosnahan and Angus Wright as Wynne’s secret service handlers. Read more…