Wiesz delivers in portrayal of U.N. whistleblower 

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

Based on the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a police officer from Nebraska who in 1999 joined the peace forces in post-war Bosnia and uncovered the United Nation's involvement in sex trafficking, The Whistleblower is a movie about evil, corruption, and, ultimately, whether there should be such as thing as diplomatic immunity.

As Bolkovac, Rachel Weisz (Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Constant Gardener in 2006) is an honest but workaholic cop frustrated by her inability to be closer to her kids after the judge gave her ex full custody. But when she's offered $100,000 for six months of work with the U.N. peace forces in post-war Bosnia, she manages to keep her maternal instincts in check.

After only two months on the job, her police work helps secure an unprecedented conviction in a case of domestic abuse, and she is elevated soon to the head of the organization's Gender Office. However, with the help of local cops, her work on sex crimes reveals the U.N. may be directly or indirectly involved in a scheme involving sex slavery and murder.

Legendary Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave is perfect as the caring head of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and the always-brilliant David Strathairn has a small but key role. Monica Bellucci as the head of the U.N. Repatriation Program is the personification of useless. But this movie is an absolute vehicle for Weisz, who appears in another career-defining role combining guts and compassion. Instead of the pharmaceutical industry she battled in The Constant Gardener, she fights an equally powerful foe that theoretically protects us.

Whether Bolkovac won or lost depends on how you look at it, but Weisz's acting is a triumph.

The Whistleblower (R)

Dir. Larysa Kondracki; writ. Larysa Kondracki, Eilis Kirwan; feat. Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn

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