I am a big fan of Cate Blanchett, and not just because she is stunningly gorgeous, but that she carries the stature and presence of a film star of yesteryear. However, she was sorely underused and was not much more than eye candy in this movie.
Watching this I found it hard to feel much for any of the characters, not that they were played entirely poorly, but that there was just no depth to them. Actually, I feel that way about the film itself, there was no depth to it.
So, without any feeling for the characters, the rest of the film was doomed as it would just wash over you. Still, there were a couple of redeeming features, the school teacher and Grey’s contact were interesting characters, but it just wasn’t enough. Even in the moments where characters are stuck in catch 22 situations and making death or death decisions, you are hardly even bothered.
One of the other problems with the film was the continual leaps in plot and continuity. Suddenly we had sped from just meeting Grey to her falling in love, loosing him in France and signing up to train to be a spy, and just as we got to speed with that she was in France. Next thing is she’s learnt to plant explosives, without a second thought, and so on. Events just happened from behind the camera without warning or explanation, it made staying with the film very tough.
That said, the filming was very good. The photography was lovely, and the whole film was visually extremely authentic. The recreation of a war bombed London was very well done, and the authenticity of the German vehicles and French village was superbly pulled together.
The final amazing part for me was at the very end, and I shan’t spoil the story at all for you, lest we say that I couldn’t believe how accepting the Grey character is, the things you could get away with!