Archive for February 19th, 2019

The Good Shepherd

By J.D. Lafrance

The Good Shepherd (2006) had been a long-gestating project for screenwriter Eric Roth. But then again pitching an epic biopic about the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency with a large cast of characters and a complex plot must have been a tough sell for studios interested in making crowd-pleasing blockbusters and not overly long films about people talking. Originally, Francis Ford Coppola and a score of other filmmakers were going to direct this film at various points with Leonardo DiCaprio starring. Both men dropped out for various reasons with Robert De Niro stepping up to take over directorial duties and Matt Damon as his leading man. The result is an ambitious film that spans three continents and covers the years 1939 to 1961. Critics and audiences were put off by the film’s slow, deliberate pacing and distant approach to the characters but missed the boat on a brilliant film that examines the formative years of the CIA.


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