Red Joan

"While Joan's early years are absolutely fascinating, it is the refreshing concept of Dench's elderly communist agent that gives this drama its real bite and edge." - Daily Mirror

“A good old-fashioned British spy thriller with a bewitching female heroine (or anti-heroine, if you will) played by the excellent actresses Judi Dench and (as her younger self) Sophie Cookson, Red Joan revisits the incredible real-life spy case of Melita Norwood. It is directed with a strong sense for character by Trevor Nunn, the former director of the Royal Shakespeare Co.

“Certainly, this isn’t the kind of adrenaline-pumping spy film laden with exploding buildings and the protagonist leaping out of skyscrapers. But it isn’t a sedate film either, and stakes couldn’t be higher: the balance of power between the West and the communist bloc at the end of WWII. Based on Jennie Rooney’s bestselling novel, Lindsay Shapero’s screenplay cleverly plays with the ostensible staidness of ordinary pensioner Joan Stanley (Dench), a woman in her 80s living a quiet suburban life who is abruptly arrested as a Soviet spy in the opening scene, set in 2000.

“Zac Nicholson’s cinematography is warm and involving like production designer Cristina Casali’s quaint woody laboratories, as behooves the sub-genre of British spy yarns. George Fenton’s romantic score and Charlotte Walter's charming costumes well describe the mood of the time.” - Hollywood Reporter


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