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Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson star in Red Joan

Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson star in Red Joan

What if the old lady next door was in fact a former Soviet spy, whose stolen secrets added fuel to the nuclear arms race?

Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson star in Red Joan

Inspired by an extraordinary true story, Red Joan, starring Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson, is an intertwined espionage drama complete with betrayals, sex scandals and shocking deaths.

Working at a top-secret nuclear research facility during WWII, Joan comes to the realisation that the world is on the brink of mutually assured destruction. Confronted with an impossible question – what price would you pay for peace? – Joan must choose between betraying her country and loved ones or saving them.

Red Joan has a strong cast, led by a characteristically powerful performance from Judi Dench. The film is an adaption of the award-winning novel by Jennie Rooney, which was itself inspired by an astounding true story. The film brings to life the culture of The Cambridge Spies, who passed secrets to the Russians during WWII.

Judi Dench plays the older Joan and delivers a believable and impassioned performance. While, Sophie Cookson plays the role of a younger Joan, in that decisive time, between being a fresher at eighteen years old and a fully-fledged scientist, approaching her thirtieth birthday. That period of time involves highly charged sexual encounters, comedic situations, physical danger and nail-biting espionage.

The two male leads are played by Tom Hughes as Leo and Stephen Campbell Moore as Max. They both vie, in ignorance of each other, for Joan’s affections, while Tereza Srbova luxuriantly and extravagantly shows that Jone’s friend, Sonya, is the least trustworthy of all.

Shot on locations in Cambridge and in and around London, the film attempts to tell a fundamentally true story in a fundamentally true way. Was Joan right to do what she did? The film asks that question and hopes that everybody seeing it will want to discuss, ponder and feel free to debate this issue.

Red Joan is in cinemas June 6.

Watch the Red Joan trailer, here.

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