Comment on The Fifth Estate Opening TIFF 13

by shael stolberg

Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate will open the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, September 5th, 2013. The film is a dramatization of Julian Assange the founder of Wikileaks.

The cast of the film includes as follows: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Peter Capaldi, Carice Van Houten, Dan Stevens, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney.

Due to the notoriety of Assange and the extreme importance of his stance and story, the casting of the main character will be critical to the film. Since the film is partially based on David Leigh & Luke Harding’s book ,WikiLeaks, it will be very interested to see how close Condon stays to the source material.

Does Julian Assange come off as an extremely intelligent and courageous visionary , all be it with some flaws, or an egomaniacal narcissistic anarchist who leaked secret information and put a country’s national security at risk… or somewhere in between. In my opinion he is more of the former than the latter. Either way, they cast the role perfectly with Benedict Cumberbatch. He has the ability (like another great British actor, Idris Elba, who is starring as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom also screening during the festival) to present an extremely calm & cool exterior but you just know that a volcano can be raging inside if he decides to present it that way. This is shown perfectly in his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series of the same name and the latest Star Trek film Into Darkness. I will not mention who he plays in that film because I do not want to engage in a spoiler but suffice to say his range from cool to explosive is very well portrayed.

This is one of the better choices that TIFF has made for an opening night film and I for one am looking very forward to seeing it.

Shael Stolberg has previously written 3 books, moderated panels, gave seminars at film schools, hosted a film based radio show and ,for full disclosure, presently runs

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