Bill Nighy stars as Johnny Worricker, a seasoned MI-5 officer who is forced to walk out of his job and out of his identity to find the truth. Michael Gambon and Rachel Weisz co-star.
c) 2011 Carnival Film & Television Limited. Artwork c) 2011 Carnival Film & Television for MASTERPIECE.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 6see all Page Eight reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
- Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, Friday, August 3, 2012
Rotten: The post-Cold War evolution of MI5 is a potentially juicy subject, but while Hare lines up the elements, he fails to take the story anyplace especially revelatory or combustible.
- David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter, Thursday, September 15, 2011
Page Eight is a disappointing talky, thriller that is still worth the time of any intelligent film goer who laments that complex films about ideas are not in theaters anymore and wind up on PBS Masterpiece Theater. It's worth seeing for wonderful dialogue by one of Britain's best living playwrights, David Hare (in his directing debut) and superb cast, all at the height of their powers (hence my disappointment of the overall effect of the film.) Bill Nighy's deadpan, minimalist performance as a burned out spy is searingly memorable, as it that of Michael Gambon, as the current MI5 director. Rachel Weisz acquits herself well, but has few acting challenges as a publisher from a politically active mourning her murdered brother and wanting answers. Judy David chews scenery as a hard core opportunistic M15 rival of NIghy's. We are in 2011, but this film feels dated, and would have been timely for a early Bush/Blair era thriller circa 2003. Ralph Fiennes plays a Blair type weasel-y prime minister in one and a half scenes. The dialogue and relationships are more interesting than the international espionage intrigue and most of the those twists can be spotted a mile away. We've been there, done that, particularly in the more entertaining and surprising Ghost Writer, the Roman Polanski vehicle for Ewan Macgregor and Pierce Brosnan (The Blair of that film). Hare directs well, and the film is visually appealing - if a bit static. There is zero action and if you require that, stay away. Polanski's film looks like Michael Bay's transformers next to this one. Rent it if you need to spend time with great actors and use your brain, and can live with the knee jerk anti-Americanism and obviousness of its content.
- fb1038944442, Monday, November 14, 2011
I don't think David Hare knows how to treat as a director the gravity and the seriousness of his own words as a screenwriter. Having done tremendous other screenplays in the past, Hare has spoiled his own ideas for Page Eight. He indeed chose the right words to get out of his fine cast great performances, but the emotion isn't there at all. And as a director, Hare doesn't succeed except in reminding us in every single scene that he is a man of words and a man of the stage, not a man of the moving image. And finally, let's just say that even if the story would have managed to provide the potential thrills it had, in the end, it'd still be unimportant and its context would still be insignificant.
- emilebond007, Saturday, September 17, 2011
"Page Eight" opens with Johnny Worricker(Bill Nighy) coming to the rescue of Nancy(Rachel Weisz), his hitherto unknown next door neighbor, when she has second thoughts about bringing home Ralph Wilson(Tom Hughes) with her. In the resultant conversation, Johnny is hesitant to give up details of his own life which is only reasonable considering he is an analyst at MI5 where he has been given a file to study by his boss and former school chum Benedict Baron(Michael Gambon) and also to their colleague Jill Tankard(Judy Davis). Anthea Catcheside(Saskia Reeves), the home secretary, seeing the explosiveness of a detail that Johnny pointed out, decides to sit on the file for a day or two before possibly going public. In the meantime, Johnny performs the duties of a father by visiting the opening of his daughter Julianne's(Felicity Jones) art show. First and foremost, "Page Eight" has a tremendous cast that also includes Alice Krige, Ewen Bremmer and Ralph Fiennes, headlined by Nighy at his droll and understated best. So, while you could have possibly stopped just at him, Gambon and Davis playing pinochle and still had an entertaining movie, there is quite a lot going on here, some of which is sadly overstated, most involving the collision of politics and intelligence gathering and why the two should never meet. Throughout, the movie smartly details the changing of the guard in Great Britain, not only in the ruling class but in how we all lead our lives(Resisting the urge is Johnny and notice how slowly his own personal history becomes known and how much his daughter is like him), willingly surrendering our privacy at the first opportunity while governments are becoming more secretive, unaware of the dictum that the truth will set you free.
- gator681, Sunday, November 18, 2012