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liam neeson's watergate drama is factual but impassive

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liam neeson's watergate drama is factual but impassive

in “mark felt: the man who brought down the white house,” we have a film that is culturally significant but at best decently made. it’s an account of crime and stonewalling denials from the nixon presidency during the watergate investigation and the secretive whistle-blowing by felt, an assistant director at the fbi handling the federal investigation. (some viewers might say it echoes current events, but such similarity is coincidental; it was written in 2006.)liam neeson is pitch-perfect as felt, a tall, distinguished-looking man with perfectly combed gray hair, a cool, resolute attitude and a deep voice. the character is efficiently sketched in the opening sequence, quietly performing the morning rituals in his flawlessly tidy, plain-vanilla suburban house. by the time he heads to bureau headquarters in his dark suit, white shirt and muted tie, we recognize him as a formal man in control of life’s details.having spent 40 years climbing the fbi ladder to the position of second in command, felt was the logical successor following the 1972 death of director j. edgar hoover. instead, nixon nominated l. patrick gray iii, a longtime loyalist. the film shows that decision as a blow to felt and a key element in what’s to follow.determined to build public and political pressure against an administration trying to manipulate his agency for partisan reasons, felt anonymously feeds information to the news media, which labels him deep throat. using instincts accumulated over a...