Friday, September 29, 2023

Review | 'Reality': True story of NSA whistleblower is stranger than ... - The Washington Post

The genius of “Reality,” Tina Satter’s flawlessly calibrated thriller based on her 2019 play “Is This a Room,” lies in its utter banality: Set mostly in a featureless one-story home in Augusta, Ga., on a stifling hot day in June 2017, this tense, mesmerizingly paced drama unfolds with a steady drip of mundane moments that gather walloping force as the minutes tick by.

The Reality of the title is Reality Winner, a National Security Agency contractor who leaked a document regarding Russian hackers seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and was subsequently sentenced to five years in federal prison, the longest sentence ever imposed for that crime. Few Americans probably remember Winner’s case, which in this case is an advantage, better allowing Satter and her star — a revelatory Sydney Sweeney — to work their tautly coiled craftsmanship.

Winner is just getting home from running errands when she’s approached by two FBI agents (Josh Hamilton and Marchánt Davis), who meet her in the driveway and almost immediately begin asking whether there are any animals in the house. Reality’s dog and cat become absurdly comic supporting players in a Kafkaesque chamber piece whose dialogue is taken entirely from transcripts of the ensuing interrogation. Winner — small, blond, a specialist in Dari and Pashto who teaches yoga and owns a pink AR-15, among other firearms — is a bundle of fascinating contradictions: She’s comfortable talking nat-sec shop with the guys and is...

Read Full Story: https://news.google.com/rss/articles/CBMiRmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lndhc2hpbmd0b25wb3N0...