"All The Old Knives," on Amazon Prime Video, is an old-fashioned spy thriller - and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
Chris Pine plays Henry Pelham, a CIA agent, is tasked by his boss (played with taciturn authority by Laurence Fishburne) to conduct an investigation into the events that led to a terrorist attack eight years earlier. New information suggests that there was a leak from the Vienna station where Pelham worked at the time, with two major suspects - Bill Compton, an analyst played by Jonathan Pryce, and Celia Harrison, a fellow agent and Henry's lover, played by Thandiwe Newton.
Much of the film plays in a spectacular restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, as Henry questions Celia about her actions; the rest of the plot plays out largely in flashbacks, as director Janus Metz Pedersen and writer Olen Steinhauer craftily assemble, disassemble and then reassemble the puzzle.
Watching Pine and Newton sip wine and engage in repartee, one can imagine that 50 years ago, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman could've acted in a similar script (though, to be fair, there is a lovemaking scene that I cannot quite imagine Grant and Bergman making). I mostly just enjoyed the fact that this was a grownup movie about grownups, with very little in the way of special effects - the film's juice largely comes from really good actors putting it all out there onscreen.
I have a very good wine to recommend this week … the 2020 Ceptembre Sauvignon Blanc, from France. It's tropical, a little grapefruity … but it balances out after just a few minutes in the glass.
That's it for this week. I hope you have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.