Sydney Sweeney delivers a performance of astonishing naturalism as unassuming yoga-teacher turned whistleblower Reality Winner in this assured debut from playwright Tina Satter. Adapted from Satter’s own play Is This a Room, Reality offers a real-time reconstruction of the events of June 3, 2017, when 25-year-old Reality Winner, air force veteran and yoga instructor, is confronted by FBI agents at her home in Georgia. A part-time intelligence contractor, Winner leaked classified documents related to Russian interference in the American election of Donald Trump in 2016 to the press, an action that saw her prosecuted and which had a wide-ranging impact on American democracy.
Satter’s film unfolds with chilling, low-key menace, as Winner is slowly coerced into revealing the truth to two agents (played with unsettling sliminess by Eighth Grade’s Josh Hamilton and Marchánt Davis) while other agents search her home. Though it is Winner whose home is being invaded, the surrealism of the affair is heightened by the geniality of her interactions with the agents, as they joke about pets and the gym in-between heavy-duty questioning.
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