Adam Markovitz
August 09, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Fifth Estate

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
124 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/18/13
performer
Daniel Bruhl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Mackie
director
Bill Condon, R.J. Cutler
distributor
Walt Disney Pictures
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B+

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly dubbed this unauthorized biopic about his rise to notoriety ”a massive propaganda attack.” (The movie’s title is a play on ”the fourth estate,” a nickname for the media.) But director Bill Condon, who says Assange refused all attempts to collaborate on the film, disagrees vehemently. ”This is not remotely an attack on him,” he says. ”In its own strange, dark, journalistic-thriller kind of way, this is a buddy movie.”

The buddies in question are Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch, an online phenom in his own right thanks to a fan army who call themselves the Cumberbitches) and Assange’s onetime partner and friend Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl), whose bitter split with Assange inspired a 2011 memoir on which the film is partially based. Cumberbatch, who wore contacts, false teeth, and an array of white wigs to play Assange, was drawn to the role’s complexity. ”He’s an amazing, extraordinary, enigmatic figure of our modern times,” says the actor, who expects harsh criticism from Assange for his portrayal — though he isn’t too worried about WikiLeaks going after his private data in retribution. ”I’m not a bank with offshore accounts in the Canaries, I’m not wanted for war crimes,” he says. ”Anyway, the Cumberbitches have got my back, so I’ll be fine.”

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST