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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Megan Thomas’

Sarah Megan Thomas

“A CALL TO SPY” My rating: B- (Available on Video on Demand on Oct. 2)

123 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

An overlooked landmark in the history of World War II — not to mention in the annals of feminism — gets a  dusting off in “A Call to Spy,” the fact based story of the role women played behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France.

Lydia Dean Pilcher’s drama (the screenplay is by Sarah Megan Thomas, who also takes a leading role) begins many months before America was pulled into the conflict. The British are reeling and desperate for information of what’s going on in occupied Europe.

But as spymaster Maurcie Buckmaster (Linus Roache) admits to his second, Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), the English are amateurs at this stuff. Their agents are being quickly swept up and eliminated by the Gestapo.

Atkins has an idea.  The Germans are expecting male infiltrators. Why not women?

Her search quickly brings her to the U.S. Embassy and Virginia Hall (Thomas), a fiercely capable individual (despite having one prosthetic leg) whose dreams of joining America’s diplomatic corps are being crushed by nearsighted male chauvinism.

Being both fluent in French and an American (remember, the Yanks are still neutral), she will be able to move more or less unimpeded throughout Vichy.  Especially when she’s given a cover as a foreign correspondent for an American newspaper.

Another recruit is Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte), a Sufi Muslim working as a radio operator under Buckmaster.  She is so fast with Morse Code that she’s sent to set up a wireless station in France through which British spies can channel their findings. Though a pacifist, Noor believes her spying can save lives.

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Anna Gunn

Anna Gunn

“EQUITY” My rating: C

“Equity” arrives on theater screens with a promising and unusual pedigree.  This female-centric financial thriller was produced, written and directed by women.

That’s nice. If only it were a better film.

Written by Amy Fox and Sarah Megan Thomas, “Equity” wants to tap some of the same emotional/intellectual/political  buttons hit so deftly in “Margin Call,” “Arbitrage,” and “The Big Short” — only with a feminist perspective.

Well, it’s got the woman’s angle, all right. But on most of the other counts it’s lightweight stuff.

Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” fame) is a hot shot at a huge investment bank. Her job is to put together big IPOs that can bring in millions if not billions of bucks. Currently she’s putting together a campaign for a Silicon Valley outfit that specializes in internet security.

But Naomi isn’t feeling the love she should. Her boss has passed her over for a big promotion and she’s still sore after her last IPO went belly up. She’s told she may be too aggressive (something nobody would use as a negative were she a man).

Small wonder she spends much of her down time pounding away at a heavy bag.

At least there’s a man in her life, a coworker, Michael (James Purefoy), who manages investors’ portfolios. But Michael is a mixed blessing. Loverboy isn’t above milking Naomi for information on upcoming deals that he can use to his advantage — information that once leaked  could land her in criminal court.

In the meantime she advises a meeting of younger women that she’s in it for the money and the feeling that success provides. “Don’t let money be a dirty word!” she tells them.

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