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|Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.|
But even for those in tune with politics and geopolitical happenings, the back story between former and current UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and the relationship they cultivated as freshman MPs, is something of a yawn. Which is precisely why The Deal must be viewed in a dramatic context, by its excellent performances, snappy writing, and swift filmic style. Michael Sheen plays Blair as a bright-eyed and somewhat dandy go-getter, while David Morrissey's Gordon Brown is a rumpled and serious politico. The two first meet in a cramped office space they must share at Parliament and form a friendship based as much on their shared Scottish ancestry as on any philosophy of political maneuvering. Rumor has long held that, after the death of Labour Party leader John Brown, a deal was struck between the two, a plan in which Brown would stand aside as Blair made a run for #10 Downing Street. In return, Blair would later support Brown's own run for Prime Minister. But, as Frears' film unfolds, problems arise when it appears that Blair isn't abiding by the terms of their agreement.
|David Morrissey as Gordon Brown.|
Frears is much better known for films like High Fidelity and The Queen, but he displays the same focus on character here as he has in previous, bigger budget productions. It's notable that as a successful Hollywood director he occasionally returns to television to work, something not many American directors of his caliber would choose to do. This DVD, released tomorrow as part of the Weinstein Company's Miriam Collection, features commentary from writer Peter Morgan and producer Christine Langan, and an interview with director Frears. SEE ALSO: www.hbo.com/films/thedeal
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.
See other articles by Jonah Flicker.
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