Probably not the good review Cumberbatch was looking for...
Oh, the humility. It’s like a posh uncle defending the indefensible. While the critics have essentially blasted Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Fifth Estate, which tells the story of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, David Cameron says he likes “the twitchiness.”
Cumberbatch as Assange in 'The Fifth Estate.'
To be fair to the British PM, Cumberbatch’s performance is actually the only the thing spared by the critics as they target the poor script and clumsy storytelling. "Benedict Cumberbatch – brilliant, fantastic piece of acting. The twitchiness and everything of Julian Assange is brilliantly portrayed," said Cameron to ITN's political editor, Tom Bradby. (via The Guardian)
Cumberbatch himself is delighted with the movie, but it’s not likely he’d come out and say anything different. "I'm thrilled with it. I'd seen it in the States and I was terrified. I cannot watch myself for the first time, especially playing someone who is so removed from me - because of everything, the appearance, the accent. Everything about him is different," he told The Independent.
For a film that showed so much promise, it’s disappointing to see it languishing in the pile of ‘could-have-beens,’ but with a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s no other pile to lump it on.
'The Fifth Estate' tells the story of WikiLeak's historic rise.
"The Fifth Estate doesn't have the same sharp focus or insight [as The Social Network]. It's adequate and often fun, but no match for Cumberbatch's talents,” say Time Out, while The Independent say that “Cumberbatch as the awkward Australian Assange performs a masterclass in mimicry. It's a shame, then, that the performance is let down by some clumsy storytelling that trots out all the usual clichés.”
The general consensus is, if you want to see an informative film about the WikiLeaks scandal, you’re better off watching Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets – a documentary surrounding the fascinating story.