Senior Citizen Kane Club: Shadow Dancer (15)
6 September 2012
Shadow Dancer is a complex thriller set during the 1993 peace process in Belfast. Director James Marsh (Man on Wire and Project Nim) delves deep into the psyche of a tight-knit community living in a war zone where betrayal could come from anywhere and at any time.
At the heart of the film is Colette (Andrea Riseborough), a radical IRA member who works for a cell run by her brothers Gerry (Aidan Gillen) and Connor (Domhnall Gleeson). When a mission to bomb a London tube station goes wrong, she is captured and offered a choice: go to prison or become an informer. Back in Belfast with IRA enforcer Kevin Mulville (a terrifying David Wilmot) watching her every move, Collette walks a dangerous tightrope, collecting information and trying not to fall under their suspicion. On the other side of the city, Mac (Clive Owen), the officer in charge of her case, starts to suspect his superiors might be manoeuvring to blow Colette’s cover in order to protect another informer.
With an impeccable Northern Irish accent, Riseborough is terrific as a young woman trying to survive in a moral maze. She is joined by a strong supporting cast including a standout performance by Gillian Anderson as the efficient but brutal local MI5 chief. Without offering any obvious answers, Shadow Dancer poses interesting questions about loyalty, betrayal and the limits of the human spirit in the midst of desperate conflict.