In a picturesque village in England, Joan Stanley lives in contented retirement, hiding her incredible past as one of the most influential spies in living history. Suddenly her tranquil existence is shattered as she’s shockingly arrested by MI5.
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Theatre director Trevor Nunn fails to make this tale, of a retired woman being arrested for treason and confronted with her wartime and post-war past, anything more than pedestrian. What should have been a thrilling tale lays flat on the screen not helped by the less than dynamic performances captured.
2.5 Leaving aside what's "true" about the story (not much at all), I was reminded of Virginia Woolf's statement: "As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, the world is my country." Which covers the decision to share nuclear secrets. Heavy-handed use of the color red (those first red shoes she borrows--hah!). Flat plotting spy-wise. One is left with a sense of how painful the memories of failed relationships can be.