At the same time as Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is getting to know his neighbor (Rachel Weisz) better, he receives a report with explosive contents from his long-time friend and boss, MI5 Director General Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon). Originally intended as a feature film, this intimate and quiet portrayal of an aging agent nevertheless fits television quite well. The dialogue is sharp and funny in the depiction of a flawed relationship between the government and MI5, and even moving in Nighy’s conversations with the women in his life. Nighy and Gambon are both excellent as jaded veterans who still have their moral compass intact.
2011-Britain. Made for TV. 99 min. Color. Produced by David Barron, David Heyman. Written and directed by David Hare. Cast: Bill Nighy (Johnny Worricker), Rachel Weisz (Nancy Pierpan), Michael Gambon (Benedict Baron), Tom Hughes, Judy Davis, Saskia Reeves… Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes, Marthe Keller.
Last word: “I know it was page 40 [when Hare approached me] because we met for breakfast – which in itself was a first – and he said: ‘I’m writing a screenplay, don’t get excited’, or words to this effect, ‘because I’ve got to page 40 and I don’t know what to do. So it probably won’t happen. I’m completely stuck, but I thought you should know that there were 40 pages of something which would have had you in it had it been completed.'” (Nighy, The Telegraph)