Doug Liman (Swingers, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) premiered his latest film, Fair Game at Cannes today. Billed as a thriller, Fair Game is the well-known story of CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), a former diplomat who became famous for his New York Times op-ed piece questioning the validity of intelligence used to invade Iraq. Soon after the piece appeared, Plame’s identity as a covert agent was leaked to the media, endagering Plame, subjecting Plame and Wilson to intense media and public scrutiny, even death threats.
Interestingly, both Liman and Watts went through some real life covert officer training at Camp Peary, a military facility nicknamed “The Farm”. Liman said he went through the kiddie version compared to what Watts was subjected to; his experience included being yelled at while handcuffed, with a bag put over his head. Describing her training as “fascinating,” Watts recounted: “On the first day as he kicked me in the shins and threw me down I said ‘Ow’, as you do,” she told reporters, referring to an unnamed instructor. “They were like, ‘None of that’.” As someone who has been through a decent bit of military training, I respect Watts all the more for taking on the training as research.
Here’s the not so thrilling trailer.
Fair Game is in contention for the Palme d’Or at Cannes and will be released sometime later this year (I’d guess awards during awards season).