Colette (Andrea Riseborough) was born into a family tied to the IRA. It’s 1993 and she’s caught carrying a bomb onto the London Underground. Mac (Clive Owen), the British intelligence’s man in Northern Ireland, gives Colette one chance to avoid life in prison away from her young son: report to the Brits on what her brothers and friends are up to. Shadow Dancer is suspenseful enough, though its opaque plotting is made more so by the nigh-impenetrable accents of the cast (including Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger, Aidan Gillen). But as a story of someone forced into the family business, her few choices in life the product of a bloody ideology, the film offers a substantive reminder that in many places war is waged by men and suffered through by women and children.
- Film Culture