Robert Hanssen has been described as the most damaging spy in our country’s history. He worked for the FBI for 25 years, and for 15 of those he passed information to the Soviets, then the Russians. Several people died when he exposed them. He was very canny, very paranoid, and at one point was put in charge of the investigation to find the mole … himself. The exposure of Aldrich Ames turned the heat away from him, and we went on for more years. He was also seriously weird. A devout Catholic, a member of the nutball Opus Dei … how did he justify his actions? I guess we’ll never know, as he is rotting in 23-hour-per-day solitary confinement at the Supermax prison, with an injunction to keep his filthy trap shut. It seems to have been mostly about money.
Chris Cooper is one of the best actors currently working. I’ve loved him in everything he’s done since playing July Johnson in Lonesome Dove. He really deserves an Oscar nomination for this role, but probably won’t get one since Academy memories seem to reach back only two or three months. This is an excellent film. Rent it.