World War II drama a true tale that’s stranger than fiction

Matthew Macfadyen, Colin Firth and Johnny Flynn in Operation Mincemeat (IMDB)

Operation Mincemeat is a British war drama about a true World War II strategy that aimed to keep plans for the Allied invasion of Sicily secret from Germany. Source: Jesuit Media.

The events of Operation Mincemeat were first covered by film, in Ronald Neame’s award-winning movie, The Man Who Never Was, which was voted Best Film by BAFTA in 1956.

Two members of British Intelligence played a leading part in the deception, and they are well portrayed in the movie. Lieutenant Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth), a Jewish Intelligence Officer, eccentrically led the team. Second in command was an awkward, likeable RAF Officer, Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen). Simon Russell Beale plays Winston Churchill, who was won over by the imaginative strategy.

The film as a whole gives an entertaining account of wartime espionage and there are impressive performances from a well-chosen ensemble cast that dramatically and wittily combined a twisting plot line with actual events. The film slips at times into melodrama, but it offers a well-acted wartime drama about how events had to be unbelievable enough to be believable.

Operation Mincemeat: Starring: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald and Simon Russell Beale. Also, Penelope Wilton and Jason Isaacs. Directed by John Madden. Rated M (Mature themes and coarse language). 127 min.


Operation Mincemeat (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)

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