The HBO docudrama Actuality, starring Sydney Sweeney as an NSA whistleblower, is a must-see film

If you happen to’re on the lookout for an HBO title to get absorbed in subsequent — now that we’ve mentioned goodbye to 2 of the best TV exhibits of all time, Succession and Barry — maybe a dose of Actuality is so as.

Now obtainable to stream on HBO’s newly rechristened Max service, Actuality is a docudrama and adaptation of Tina Satter’s 2019 play Is This a Room about Actuality Winner. Performed right here with spectacular chops by Sydney Sweeney, Winner is an ex-NSA translator who was arrested in 2017 at age 25 and imprisoned for leaking a labeled doc (about Russian interference within the 2016 election).

Making the film’s timing notably noteworthy is the truth that, whereas the Trump administration charged Winner below the Espionage Act, Trump himself now finds himself staring down the barrel of potential expenses associated to labeled paperwork discovered to have been improperly dealt with at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

As for Sweeney, she simply instructions your consideration all through the 80-minute Actuality, portraying the younger girl as more and more sinking below the load of a grave secret and searching exceedingly small in relation to the FBI brokers who interrogated her.

My favourite factor concerning the film, although, is its constancy to what occurred to her through its use of Winner’s interrogation transcript, verbatim, as the premise of the film’s dialogue.

Josh Hamilton and Marchánt Davis play the FBI brokers who interrogate her with menace and perspicacity. They assist to carry a way of claustrophobia to the proceedings in Actuality, which debuted earlier this yr on the 2023 Berlin Worldwide Movie Competition.

That’s to say: There’s not lots that “occurs” on this film, past the characters speaking to one another. However the actors excel a lot at saying lots by not all the time saying what they actually imply, which you can’t carry your self to look away even should you needed to.

“What I did after I broke the regulation was a political act at a really politically charged time,” Winner, now in her 30s, instructed NBC Information final yr from her residence close to Corpus Christi, Texas. HBO’s new film is a dramatization of that act, and of the reality and lies surrounding it, perpetrated by a lady whose literal title is Actuality.