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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Mini Review: Reality

Profiles the arrest of 25 year-old Air Force linguist and NSA contractor Reality Winner for leaking classified information pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election to the press. Adapted from the 2019 stage play, with dialogue pulled directly from Reality Winner's FBI interview.

Sydney Sweeney, Josh Hamilton & Marchánt Davis.

Reality is the newest HBO original & Sydney Sweeney is given another project to prove herself to be one of the most talented actresses in the world currently. And she delivers once again.

Following a true story with dialogue taken entirely from a real transcript, Tina Satter had the difficult job creating a narrative through visual storytelling and giving a point to it all. With brilliant editing that hides the secrets of the story that can’t be disclosed, as well as simultaneously building tension and making the audience uncomfortable through how jarring it would be. Sydney’s performance becomes one of the biggest Oscar contenders of the year with an emotionally complex performance that felt 200% during every single frame from beginning to end.

It, of course, deals with the political side of America that will go over many people’s heads. As an outsider, I understand the general idea but I’m sure with a closer eye from different audience could take apart how complex it may be. It’s a lot more subtle than it appears, particularly with its supporting actors who deliver great, subtle performances with a lot of subtext behind each delivery, both emotionally and politically. Definitely adding to its overall political themes.

It’s a short one. Well shot, incredibly well acted & sublimely edited. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, as I was, it’s an easy to follow and tense ride. Sydney Sweeney continues to impress.

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