Is the lesson here that we shouldn’t judge a movie by its poster or that we shouldn’t put too much faith into whatever the trailer’s trying to sell us? Not that the above – the poster for Benedict Cumberbatch’s upcoming Cold War spy thriller The Courier – is bad or anything; just that it looks like a pretty standard Cold War spy thriller poster, complete with ’60s-appropriate film stock and typography to give it that period feel. It’s a nice poster. We have no problems with this poster. It’s just that we were kind of blown away by the trailer.
Yes, we know. There’s a lot of magic you can create when you pare a two-hour movie down to two minutes. Even so, that looks pretty wildly great. Cumberbatch is in his sweet spot when he’s playing classically officious Brits who have a healthy sense of self-deprecation. Like Patrick Stewart, he can use his world-class vocal instrument to make roles like these seem natural to him, but turns them interesting by underlining the performance with an unexpected vulnerability. Jessie Buckley has been fantastic in each of her up-the-success-ladder films in the last two years. This one feels like the most high-profile role yet and we can’t wait to see her playing off Cumberbatch’s weird energy. Rachel Brosnahan’s another interesting choice. She’s done the mid-Century thing to Emmy winning effect on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but this is clearly an entirely different sort of role for her.
THE COURIER is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK’s MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Directed by Dominic Cooke
Written by Tom O’Connor
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley
[Photo Credit: Lionsgate – Video Credit: LionsgateFilmsUK via YouTube]