Wife. Mother. Spy. These are the few words that introduce us to the newest Doug Liman’s movie
based on on Valerie Plame’s memoir, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House.
The movie also has an amazing cast starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Naomi Watts stars as Plame along with Sean Penn as Plame’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson.
Plame’s status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Also in the cast are Ty Burrell as Fred, Sam Shepard as Sam Plame, Bruce McGill as Jim Pavitt and
Brooke Smith as Diana.
Production took place in Washington, D.C. and New York City. While screening a source was
invited to review production and said, “A wonderful human drama with political suspense that
should interest anybody no matter how they vote.”
The movie was released a couple of months ago, on the 21st of October during the Abu Dhabi
film festival. The movie got several positive feedback and a second screening was announced in
Brisbane, Australia as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) on October 28, 2010.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie well, saying the third collaboration between Watts and Penn,
after 21 Grams and The Assassination of Richard Nixon as a: It struggles with the balance between
fact-based biopic and taut political thriller, but Fair Game brims with righteous anger – and
benefits from superb performances by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
Washington Post though didn’t have the same opinion; The editorial page of the Washington
Post, which ran the July 14, 2003 syndicated article outing Plame as a CIA operative accused the
film of “Hollywood myth-making,” stating that it is “full of distortions – not to mention outright
inventions.” The editorial claims that Wilson did not debunk the British claim of Iraq seeking
uranium from Africa and that the leak of her name was not a result of White House conspiracies,
but solely of the actions of Richard Armitage.
Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame responded to the Washington Post editorial page by pointed out
that Walter Pincus and Richard Leiby, two Washington Post reporters who covered the Plame
affair (Pincus was even subpeoned by Patrick Fitzgerald for his role), had already published a
review of the film in which they wrote “[t]he movie holds up as a thoroughly researched and
essentially accurate account – albeit with caveats.”
David Corn, another journalist with a role in the controversy, wrote a more detailed criticism of
the Washington Post editorial page in Mother Jones. In it, he rejects the reliability of the Niger-
uranium claim as well as the claim that Fitzgerald’s investigation uncovered no White House
conspiracy in the leaking of Plame’s identity, and points out that the editor of the editorial page,
Fred Hiatt, is a “fervent supporter of the Iraq war.”
The movie then, didn’t really not get accurate information; several journalists have asserted its
credibility and the movie was well received by critics, making the movie a must see for all CIA and
spy lovers, as well as moviegoers who love a female as a lead and a movie based on a true story.