The Insider
Sundance Kabuki CinemasWed, May 8, 2013 8:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Premiere Status:USA
Year of Prod:1999
Running Time:157
Original Language:English
dir:Michael Mann
prod:Pieter Jan Brugge
Michael Mann
scr:Eric Roth
Michael Mann
cam:Dante Spinotti
editor:William Goldenberg
David Rosenbloom
Paul Rubell
mus:Pieter Bourke
Lisa Gerrard
cast:Al Pacino
Russell Crowe
Christopher Plummer
Philip Baker Hall
Lindsay Crouse
Diane Venora
source:Touchstone Pictures

For much of the running time of The Insider, Russell Crowe, as real life tobacco executive-turned-whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, is atypically unheroic. He’s not a gladiator come to take down the tobacco industry. He’s a regular guy (the 35 pounds and makeup-applied liver spots Crowe added for the role certainly helps sell this) who has unintentionally put himself in a position as nerve-wracking as any Hollywood thriller. Where one day he was a well-paid executive with a beautiful house and a family, the next he’s alone and in hiding, trying simply to tell his story. By rendering the characters and the world so true-to-life, director Michael Mann and co-screenwriter (and SFIFF56 Kanbar Award recipient) Eric Roth make the film all the more terrifying. Suddenly things that aren’t supposed to happen to a run-of-the-mill corporate stooge are occurring, and we’re as startled as Wigand is. As he tries to share his story with 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino in perhaps his greatest late-career performance), the mysterious strangers, anonymous death threats and all-powerful corporations who get in his way could be from a 1970s conspiracy thriller, but they never negate how true this ripped-from-the-headlines story feels. The Insider is a modern classic (one nominated for seven Acadamy Awards including Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Actor) about a very unlikely hero.
-Jason Berger
Additional Information

Michael Mann

Michael Mann initially made his name as a writer for television series, such as Policewoman, Starsky and Hutch and Gibbsville, earning a DGA award and an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Special for the 1979 telefilm The Jericho Mile. He also executive produced two stylish 1980s-era TV shows, Miami Vice and Crime Story. He made his feature directing debut with Thief in 1981and went on to make The Keep (1983), Manhunter (1986), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Heat (1995), Ali (2001), Collateral (2004), Miami Vice (2006) and Public Enemies (2009). He received Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nominations for The Insider (1999).