By Matt Brunson
DIRECTED BY Doug Liman
STARS Naomi Watts, Sean Penn
By now, it's accepted by all but the most deluded Tea Party zealots that the insidious Bush administration took this country to war under false pretenses. There was a point when the vessel of justice could have been righted and a course for a better tomorrow could have been charted, but instead, lies were upheld, misinformation was spread like so much manure, and the moment was gone. Fair Game is a film about that moment.
Naomi Watts stars as Valerie Plame Wilson, the CIA operative whose undercover status was blown in retaliation for her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) writing a New York Times op-ed piece in which he revealed that the justification for going to war with Iraq that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction was a complete fabrication on the part of the war criminals in the White House. Fair Game tracks the lives of the Wilsons both professionally and personally, showing how the political fallout was placing a severe strain on their marriage.
The most fascinating element of this important picture is the philosophical difference that exists between the central characters. Joe is an idealist, honestly believing that he can take on the neocon thugs and win the battle. Valerie, meanwhile, is a realist, realizing the futility of any such efforts and initially preferring to keep her head down. It's an interesting dichotomy, because while our hearts side with Joe, our minds know and, more regrettably, our current history proves that Valerie was right.