Polish film and television director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland is a journeywoman. Beginning her career as an assistant to directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, at 71, the underrated filmmaker has really done it all. In the early aughts, her no-nonsense style of directing and visual storytelling got her TV jobs on “The Wire” and that lead to a lot of consistent and constant work on American TV shows—”The Killing,” “Treme,” “House Of Cards,” “The Affair” and dozens of other shows. Between these gigs, she juggles feature films like her latest, a WWII thriller called “Mr. Jones.”
Starring James Norton, Vanessa Kirby (“Mission Impossible“), Peter Sarsgaard, and Joseph Mawle, “Mr. Jones” follows an ambitious Welsh journalist (Norton), who traveled to the Soviet Union in 1933 and uncovered the appalling truth behind the Soviet “utopia.” His quest quickly turned into a life-or-death journey… helping inspire Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Here’s the official synopsis, and it sounds like Holland’s bread and butter, which is political dramas and thrillers and WWII stories about the dangers of fascism.
Agnieszka Holland’s thriller, set on the eve of WWII, sees Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world. Meanwhile, an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones (Norton) travels to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the propaganda, but then gets a tip that could expose an international conspiracy, one that could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth behind the façade that would later inspire George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm.
Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film in North America sometime in the window of April 2020. Watch the new trailer below.