I may be an unabashed liberal, but I’m not a fan of either Edward Snowden or Oliver Stone. Don’t get me wrong, I think the people have a right to know about NSA data collection and surveillance programs, I just take issue with anyone trying to take the moral high ground while seeking asylum in repressive states like China and Russia — there’s a certain disconnect there. By the same measure, I’m no fan of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-minded form of liberalism. As the great Nathan Rabin said of Stone when writing about W., “All cinephiles reach a moment in their intellectual development when they realize Oliver Stone is full of shit.”
Stone is returning to the realm of political cinema with Snowden, a new biopic that features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular NSA contractor. Call me crazy, but I doubt that Stone will bring any kind of nuance to the material, and this teaser for Snowden seems to reaffirm that. At his best, which at present is a distant memory, Oliver Stone can craft compelling cinema even if you don’t agree with him. Here’s hoping that Snowden brings that return to form, but I’m not holding my breath. Snowden opens December 25th, 2015.
The official synopsis for Snowden:
SNOWDEN stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is written and directed by Academy Award®-Winning Director Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books *The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man* by Luke Harding and *Time of the Octopus *by Anatoly Kucherena