Sundance 2020 Review | “Ironbark”

Actor Merab Ninidze, Director Dominic Cooke and Actor Rachel Brosnahan attend the World Premiere of Ironbark Photo by Stephen Speckman, Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Review by guest contributors Ashley Alserda Jensen and Kaitlyn Alserda

A Sundance 2020 film entitled Iron Bark starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan (from Amazon Prime’s hit series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), directed by Domonic Cooke, written by Tom O’ Connor, is a true story that takes place in the Cold War Era set in Great Britain and Russia. Cumberbatch portrays self-employed successful, yet ordinary London salesman Greville Wynne, who is unlikely sought after by secret American and British Intelligence, asking Mr. Wynne to pose as an undercover spy in Russia, relaying crucial information back to the government with his front as an international businessman.

Rachel Brosnahan is a superb actress who plays Mrs. Maisel in the critically acclaimed Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Fans of Brosnahan will be curious to see who she plays in another unique period piece.

Actor Rachel Brosnahan attends the World Premiere of Ironbark, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. © 2020 Sundance Institute | photo by Stephen Speckman.

Ironbark is a great film choice for those that love a serious drama with a little touch of humor here and there. Not to mention a true story. Cumberbatch, as you would expect nothing less from him, emotionally shined in his portrayal of Greville Wynne. Though both Rachel Brosnahan and Benedict Cumberbatch were outstanding in their roles, the performance that really intrigues was by an actor by the name of Merab Ninidzi, who played a Russian Intelligence agent gone rogue.

From start to finish the whole film was very captivating. At The Sundance Film Festival period pieces are quite rare, so to add a truthful historical piece to the festival was lovely, as was this film. It was beautiful, insightful and educational from start to finish. A historical portrayal of two unlikely friends, who become two unlikely heroes.

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