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Wick's Review

Created Sep 04, 2020 02:39AM PST • Edited Sep 23, 2020 05:43PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Gareth the Great defenestrates two cultural institutions in one fell swoop: communism and the NY Times. Plus, it’s mostly true. Wait what? This superb movie isn’t titled Gareth the Great? It’s about Gareth Jones, arguably the greatest journalist of the 20th century, and therefore of all time. Sadly, the producers went with the hind end of Gareth Jones’s name, resulting in the most banal movie title of all time — Mr. Jones.

    Mr. Jones brilliantly shows the omniscient spying under hardcore communism, joining The Lives of Others in the wee pantheon of utopian exposés. Thus, this one zooms in on the 1933 Moscow Central Switchboard, filled with KGB agents efficiently spying on all calls coming in from abroad. It’s a brilliantly elegant scene.

    Mr. Jones is a brilliant film from its first frames. Agnieszka Holland opens with immersive vignettes on a farm, full of pigs rooting and the wind rustling the barley. Her special filmic power is immediately evident.

    War is in the offing, not just any war, but World War II, the war against Hitler and the Nazis. From the American POV, Stalin’s Soviet Union was just off screen. The West’s paper of record – The New York Times – then as now was under leftist sway. Holland’s film from Andrea Chalupa’s tight script documents in salacious fashion how the NYT’s man in Moscow covered up the Holodomor. (Stalin’s crime against humanity is so infamous it has its own name. The Holodomor was Stalin’s forced Famine of Ukraine.)

    The NYT’s Walter Duranty was living the high life in Moscow, totally dissolute, throwing roaring parties with rich folk shooting opium and prostitutes, not to mention party boys who want to party with other boys. This salacious stuff creates an effete Star Wars bar vibe, in real life. Infamously, Duranty won the Pulitzer.

    The parallels to 2020 are clear and ominous. The New York Times is even more lefty now and more class conscious than ever. But now it is fixated on Protected Classes as defined by intersectionalist incantations. Back then, the Times profoundly perverted its coverage to fulfill a Leftist Narrative Objective. It does the same today using more sophisticated and often subterranean methods, including deeply slanted coverage.

    Mr. Jones is an instant classic and arguably the most important movie of recent years. Want to avoid repeating history? Watch this movie. Oh yeah, do not read the New York Times. It still can’t be trusted.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    The big cast holds up well, all playing real historical characters. James Norton plays Gareth Jones himself, with Peter Sarsgaard as Walter Duranty. The other character names are more recognizable than the actors.

    • George Orwell by Joseph Mawle
    • Ada Brooks by Vanessa Kirby.
    • David Lloyd George by Kenneth Cranham
    • Maxim Litvinov by Krzysztof Pieczyński
    • Paul Kleb by Marcin Czarnik
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Agnieszka Holland’s film of Andrea Chalupa script is a perfect creation, up to the freighted weight of the true story it tells. This epochal tale of Stalin’s USSR (his creation) and his Famine of Ukraine is of the utmost historical gravity. The women have birthed a perfect film that handles it all with grace and strength.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Dear Agnieszka Holland,

    The Moscow Switchboard Scene couldn’t have been simple to execute.

    Respectfully,
    Wick

  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    Mr. Jones is Andrea Chalupa’s only IMBb credit. Hell of a start!

  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Gareth the Great walks under a blood red sky, in a strikingly modern square, trailed by “my big brother.”

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.6
  15. Sex Innocent 1.4
  16. Violence Fierce 2.0
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.4
  18. Glib 1.2

    Stalin’s forced famine of Ukraine was covered up by the Communists and their toadies in the American press, creating the greatest gaslighting scandal ever. In reality, 7.5 million Ukrainians starved to death.1

    If there was fairness in the world, Gareth Jones would be more famous than Walter Duranty, who deserves ignominy. Instead, Duranty lives on in infamy. Happily, Gareth the Great gets his just resorts in Mr. Jones.

    Iconic Lines

    • “Men came and thought they could replace the natural laws.” – starving Ukrainian peasant woman. If that doesn’t make you into a conservative, nothing will.
    • “Some animals are more equal than others”, punched out on Orwell’s typewriter.
    • “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” – Duranty
    • “To the south there is nothing but wheat fields. Grain is Stalin’s gold.” – Duranty, when asked how Stalin was paying for his centrally controlled modernization of the Soviet economy. Never mind that he starved the peasants to steal their grain!

    1 Death toll per Wikipedia

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.5
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

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