New spy drama: The Spy and the Sparrow

Here’s something of note – an espionage thriller that doesn’t have the stamp of Hollywood all over it. The Spy and the Sparrow, part spy movie part intense family drama, premiered recently at the Seattle International Film Festival, which makes sense seeing as it was shot in Seattle and makes great use of the varied cityscapes the location has to offer.

The casting’s less star-studded than that of spy flicks Duplicity (2009) and Salt (scheduled for a 2010 release), but the acting is good and the twists and turns rather compelling.

The Spy and the Sparrow movie posterThe movie spans a quarter century and weaves in black and white flashbacks to Thomas Sparrow’s active CIA days. As a Berlin-based agent during the Cold War, Sparrow (David Rasche) is involved in a money transfer case that goes bad, and even though he’s now retired, living out his days in Seattle, the CIA and Russian mafia are still trying to figure out where the cash landed up.

And from the family-side, Sparrow’s trying to make amends. His daughter Josephine (Elisabeth Rohm), whom he hasn’t seen since she was a little girl, is not the most well-adjusted of individuals. An alcoholic mother with a young kid, she gets by on meaningless sexual encounters, and it seems that a lot of her issues can be traced to her father’s absence. Daddy Sparrow wants now to make up for lost time…get a little parenting in before it’s really too late.

We explore Josephine’s relationships with her shrink (Eric Roberts) – also ex-CIA, her custody battle lawyer (Chad Lindberg), and her self-destructive self, not to mention her repentant father.

Lots of anger, torment, remorse – with an ex-spy at the heart of it. Looks like a winner for folks into their espionage, but it may be hard to come by depending on where you live. Producers are currently seeking distribution for the movie.

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