May 20th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Cannes: 'Fair Game' takes aim at Bush White House

Conservatives will likely take issue with the latest film to premiere here in Cannes, but liberals may think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

The movie in question? “Fair Game”, which tells the story of Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson. Plame is the former covert CIA operative, whose identity was allegedly leaked by the Bush Administration after Wilson publicly criticized the President’s use of faulty intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq.

The film, starring Naomi Watts as Plame and Sean Penn as Wilson, holds its official premiere tonight, but I dropped by an earlier screening, and I think this film has potential Oscar nominee written all over it.

The movie, from director Doug Liman, paints a devastating portrait of Administration efforts to convince the public before the invasion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, but it doesn’t come off as a history lesson. The film focuses on the emotional toll on Plame and Wilson after the Administration and Vice President Cheney’s chief-of-staff Scooter Libby worked to discredit Wilson.

“Fair Game” is a classic “little guy against the system” movie, the kind of story Hollywood is adept at telling. Of course, members of the Bush Administration - from former National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice to former political adviser Karl Rove - won’t see it that way (Rove wrote in his recent book, “Courage and Consequence”, "Did President Bush lie us into war? Absolutely not." This is an implicit rebuttal of Wilson’s allegations).

It may be easier for conservatives to dismiss the film because it co-stars Penn, whose left-leaning political sympathies are well known.

But in Hollywood, which of course is much closer to Penn than Rove in its politics, I think the film will go over well, and I can see it even nabbing an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

By the way, no U.S. release date has been set for the film yet, so it may be a while before the American public gets to see it.


soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. tataoz12342

    Flash Games – Flash Games Site.

    May 21, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Donna Cregg

    I can't wait to see this movie, it looks like a great mix between political thriller and smart action movie. While I wait, I'm definitely going to check out Attack on Darfur. It's supposed to have really cool action scenes with a inspiring humanitarian message. Hope as more people see it, they will support government efforts to eliminate genocide. http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movieDetails/492994

    October 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Laura M.

    I'm curious why there's no U.S. release date. I love Penn in anything, he's that good, but I'm really looking forward to this one. Too bad Vera Farmiga already played Plame in a earlier film. This one looks so much better and Farmiga would have rocked it.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robin Raftis

    It greatly saddens me to see that so many young people do not undertand WHY we have a two party system. Just because your life has been permanently altered by the republican agendas and you are just unaware of it...well, your comments tell quite a tell.

    Do you like playground bullies, telling you what you can and cannot do, telling you that your children are expendable when compared to oil, that you have to give and give, loosing cars, homes and livelihoods due to the added expenses $4.25 a gallon oil?

    Can't anyone remember Reagen and his naps, and his testimonies that he just couldn't remember (Alzeheimers), and this was the poster child of the Republicans?

    Obviously the republicans are counting on you to not remember, not remember that the deficit was paid off under CLinton? So what, while Clinton was chased by Newt for Monica, Newt was HIMSELF HAVING AFFAIRS???

    We need to look at the behind the scenes, which this movie provides. Or perhaps, let me set a scenario...YOUR KIDS are fighting in Iraq. Cheney tells everyone where to find them, and what they look like.

    THAT is what they did to Plame. SHE was working FOR US, to help KEEP US SAFE.

    They outed her for doing what none of them would, going for the truth.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Edward R. Ditmars

    For any film to win.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Edward R. Ditmars

    Unfortunately, for a political film to win an oscar it has to come out right before or after Christmas to still make the oscar deadline, and be the freshest of the films in the running, and in the minds of the voters.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Edward R. Ditmars

    I'll see it because we all know cheney is a traitor, who outed plame, because she was in charge of the c.i.a. finding out if iraq had nuclear weapons or not, and had declared to the entire american government that they did not have nuclear weapons.

    Cheney then committed treason, and outed her directly through his representative libby.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Boof

    Another Sean Penn movie I'll never see.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. talli

    oscar contender? probably not. Movie seems to be full of information, and no heart. This years Oscar winner...Inception.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mr. Southpaw

    Another "lefty liberal" movie doomed for failure. I'm sure Sean Penn foamed at the mouth when offered the part.

    May 21, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hawky

    Yeah nobody covered Primary Colors or talked about the book. And CNN along with the rest of the media skipped over the Monica incident. Lurk more in the 90s please

    May 21, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    I wonder if CNN would cover films that discredit Obama or Clinton, or just call those extremist or ignore it. Yep, they would.

    Liberals!! CNN is biased!

    May 21, 2010 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave...

      And Fox News Channel isn't?? get real!

      >>>>>>>>>
      "Dave
      I wonder if CNN would cover films that discredit Obama or Clinton, or just call those extremist or ignore it. Yep, they would.

      Liberals!! CNN is biased!"
      <<<<<<<<

      August 11, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Naked truth

    Sean Penn is starting to look like an old man.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yes!

    win!

    May 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |

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