The WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate has proven to be as divisive as its subject.
The journalism drama, about the early David vs. Goliath victories of Julian Assange’s truth-telling tech movement, kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday night.
There was praise for Benedict Cumberbatch’s incarnation of the white-haired cyber-guru — who is a hero to some, and an instigator of chaos to others. And the film got an extended standing ovation at the premiere, but early reviews were generally harsh, which could sap its Oscar hopes.
EW’s Owen Gleiberman split from the naysayers and gave The Fifth Estate a strong endorsement, calling it a “feverishly edgy and exciting drama.”
At the after-party launching the 38th annual festival, which is seen throughout Hollywood as the official start of good-movie-season — reactions to The Fifth Estate were so-so. The movie, directed by Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon definitely had some supporters, but there tended to be more zeal from its detractors.