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In other words, Soviet spy Joan Stanley (Dench and Sophie Cookson as the young Joan), doesn’t get caught until she’s too old to go to prison. She lives out her years in comfort as an OAP (old age pensioner in the UK or senior citizen as we say in the US). But when the British government finally catches up with her and arrests her on 29 breaches of the Official Secrets Act, Joan turns to her astonished lawyer son, Nick, (Ben Miles), for help.
Based on the 2014 novel by Jenny Rooney that itself is based on the real-life story of Melita Norwood (1912-2005), ‘Red Joan” is a rather straightforward, though watchable, story of a brilliant young science student at Cambridge who becomes part of a trendy communist group. She is lured to become active in passing secrets to the Soviets by Leo (Tom Hughes who lays Prince Albert in PBS’ “Victoria”) who romances her into complicity.
World - War - II - MI5 - Britain
During World War II and just after, working for MI5, she passes Britain’s nuclear formula for the atom bomb to the Soviets. She isn’t caught because, as what her recruiter Sonya (Teresa Srbova) says proves true: no one looks at women.
The film moves back and forth between past and present. What could have been just another spy movie...
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