"Shadow Dancer": A Thriller About an Irish Mole

Shadow Dancer Even if 30 Rock's Dennis Duffy is right and technology is cyclical, the beeper is probably never going to make a comeback, though it's one of many obsolete technologies that play a key role in the James Marsh political thriller Shadow Dancer. Set in a perpetually overcast 1993 Belfast, the film follows single mother Collette (Andrea Riseborough, refreshingly earthy after her sterile turn in Oblivion) as she's reluctantly recruited by MI5 spook Mac (Clive Owen) to spy on her hardliner IRA brothers. There are twists and intrigue a-plenty, particularly as the IRA honchos begin to realize there's a tout (y'know — a mole, a squealer, a snitch) in their midst, and Mac realizes his boss (Gillian Anderson) might not have Collette's best interests at heart. Though never in a winking or mocking way, Shadow Dancer is a kind of retro-techno thriller, showcasing everything that was state-of-the-art in the early 1990s, including a Windows 3.1, and the opening credits are typed in a halting manner with a cursor as a Morse Code signal pings away in the background. The theme of surveillance and technology makes the presence of The Wire's Aidan Gillen all the more appropriate, and Game of Thrones fans should appreciate hearing Littlefinger let his native accent fly.

 
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