- Phillippe and Cooper in church
This week's DVD was a loner from my sister ... Breach. I accepted the loan because I like Chris Cooper, but dim bulb that I am, I had no idea what it was about, much less that it was a fictional recreation of real circumstances.
Breach is a 2007 film starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, and Laura Linney. The film is directed by Billy Ray and is based on the story of Eric O'Neill, an upstart FBI operative working under Robert Hanssen, an agent convicted of spying for the Soviet Union (and, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia) for 15 years ... - wikipedia
The acting by Cooper was very good, I thought, and one of my favorite character actors, Gary Cole (American Gothic, Crusade), also had a part in the movie. The story told is about how Robert Hansen, an FBI agent nearing retirement and suspected of espionage , is brought down with the help of a young operative placed as his clerk. What makes the movie interesting is not so much the spy stuff, but the character study of Hansen.
Cooper actually made me like and feel compassionately toward Hansen, and that wasn't easy ... he was an anti-feminist, homophobic, supernumerary member of Opus Dei, who kept a stripper, and made porn tapes of he and his wife having sex without her knowledge ... oh, and he was a spy :-)
An interesting bit only alluded to in the movie was that according to the New York Times, Hansen's wife, years before he was caught, figured out he was spying, and got him to go to reconciliation, confessing all to a priest, the former head of Opus Dei in the U.S. The priest didn't reveal his secret, of course.
For those interested, there's an article from the Washington Post on the movie and the situation on which it was based - A Walk in the Dark