Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 41m
Living in a contented retirement, Joan Stanley’s tranquil existence is shattered when she is shockingly arrested by MI5.
At first Joan (Judi Dench) protests her innocence. The narrative then cuts back to 1938 where a young Joan portrayed by Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is a Cambridge physics student falling for young communist Leo Galich (Tom Hughes). Through him she begins to see the world in a new light.
We learn of her disillusionment with British society in the face of condescension from her peers. Working at a top-secret nuclear research facility during World War Two, Joan comes to the realisation that the world is on the brink of mutually assured destruction. Confronted with the question – what price would you pay for peace? – Joan must choose between betraying her country and loved ones or saving them.
Once described as ‘the most important female agent ever recruited by the USSR’, Director Trevor Nunn superbly interweaves elements of British KGB agent Melina Norwood’s biography and fiction to exemplify the dangers of underestimating women, in this reimagining of Cold War espionage.