Reality: an intriguing timely movie

Sydney Sweeney as Reality Winner

Reality is an intriguing and timely movie as it turns out. But I fully admit it’s probably not for everyone as movies go. It’s about a young woman who worked for an NSA contractor busted for sending a top secret document to the press.

And it’s a short quick film. (I love that these days!) They turned the transcripts of her interrogation into a play and now the movie. But the subject manner has so much depth it keeps you thinking.

Sydney Sweeney stars as Reality Winner (and I have to admit when I first heard the name I assumed it was made up- it’s not). She sent a document concerning Russian Election tampering to the press and then one day found the FBI waiting for her when she came up from the grocery store.

The movie is an hour and a half. The transcripts themselves (which I did read after) only 80 pages and the actors actually do a good job of keeping it interesting. I find Sydney Sweeney to be a very likable actress. Also the little break in her voice when she realizes where this is going and she needs to take care of her dog and cat. There’s also just something so mundane and at the same time extraordinary about the situation she finds herself in.

Plus the main FBI guy gives off this creepy weird vibe which I’m not sure if that was intended or not but it worked- and the third is a big burly dude who tends to get in her personal space so yeah it bothered me. There’s a nice, but jarring at first, element employed when they start talking about information blacked out of the transcripts.

giving off weird unsettling vibes in Reality

It worked really well but at first I was like what???

Like I said this is a quick little film but it’s definitely intriguing and it left me with a lot to think about. Winner did jail time and there’s always that question of does the punishment fit the crime? How do you balance national security interests against the public right to know and who makes that call?

(For instance the article doesn’t seem like a big deal now but they do say it included sources and methods which could put people in danger.)

There’s was also this news clip at the end talking about things Winner had said about hating America and well maybe she did at some point but it wasn’t in the transcript which naturally made me think that was intended to paint her in a certain way which struck me how in this day and age information is always, always being manipulated and played for someone’s angle. Maybe the only pure information is released in forms we shouldn’t see and then they tell us people need to go to jail for it.

Sydney Sweeney in Reality

Winner herself recently gave an interview with Rolling Stone and has been critical of The Intercept- the organization that solicited whistle blowers who handled it so badly the FBI were able to track and burn her, which they have admitted to. They have an interesting history and it’s not the first time they’ve been accused of burning sources for a story.

Anyway Reality (which is on Max by the way- and what a dreadful mess that app has become) is an intriguing play like film. It doesn’t seem like much on the surface but it certainly stayed with me.

Recommend: Yes.

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