(US - 2018)
Directed by Chris Weitz. Written by Matthew Orton. Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Melanie Laurent, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Greta Scacchi, Peter Strauss, Michael Aronov, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Torben Liebrecht, Michael Benjamin Hernandez, Simon Russell Beale, Allan Corduner, Rainer Reiners, Rucio Munoz, Rita Pauls. (PG-13, 123 mins)
In its best moments, OPERATION FINALE recalls the kinds of international espionage, manhunt, and WWII or post-war men-on-a-mission productions that were commonplace in the 1960s, and might star a Sophia Loren or a Julie Christie with a Peter O'Toole or a Christopher Plummer and feature some combination of Jeremy Kemp, Anton Diffring, or Donald Pleasence as monocle-wearing Nazis, along with the inevitable Karl-Otto Alberty as a sinister aide-de-camp to whoever was playing the primary villain. FINALE is set in 1960 and details the plot to extract SS Obergruppenfuhrer and key Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was hiding since 1950, working in a Mercedes-Benz factory under the alias "Ricardo Klement." Eichmann is played by Ben Kingsley, in his second "war criminal in hiding" role this year after the forgettable AN ORDINARY MAN and depicted as a captive that recalls, albeit in a much less psychosexual fashion, his role in Roman Polanski's 1994 film DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was also indirectly involved with supplying intel the early days of the search for Eichmann; he's not seen or mentioned in OPERATION FINALE, but of course, he was played by Kingsley in the 1989 HBO movie MURDERERS AMONG US). Things start to unravel for Eichmann/"Klement" when his son Klaus (Joe Alwyn), who he, as Klement, publicly refers to as his nephew through marriage (Greta Scacchi plays Mrs. Eichmann), begins dating young Sophie (Haley Lu Richardson), the daughter of Lothar Hermann (Peter Strauss sighting!), a blind, half-Jewish German businessman who's lived in Buenos Aires for 25 years. Sophie doesn't get around to mentioning that she's Jewish and flees in horror and disgust when Klaus, who has kept his last name and claims Adolf was just a relative he never knew, takes her to a de facto Nazi rally at a banquet hall, where prominent members of the city's German population still gather to privately goose-step and Sieg Heil like the good old days. Sophie gets suspicious of Klaus and his family when she hears him address his "uncle" Ricardo as "Father," prompting Lothar to notify German prosecutor Fritz Bauer (Rainer Reiners) that Adolf Eichmann might be hiding in Buenos Aires.