Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Shadow Dancer 2012

Directed by James Marsh

Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough play a high-odds game of spy and spymaster in this gritty, nerve-wracking Belfast thriller. “Director James Marsh (Man on Wire) is working with riveting assurance.” — Hollywood Reporter

France / Ireland / UK In English
100 minutes CinemaScope



Chris Coen
Andrew Lowe
Ed Guiney


Tom Bradby. Based on his novel


Rob Hardy


Jinx Godfrey

Production designer

Jon Henson

Costume designer

Lorna Marie Mugan


Dickon Hinchliffe


Andrea Riseborough (Collette)
Clive Owen (Mac)
Aidan Gillen (Gerry)
Domhnall Gleeson (Connor)
Bríd Brennan (Ma)
David Wilmot (Kevin Mulville)
Stuart Graham (Ian Gilmore)
Martin McCann (Brendan)
Gillian Anderson (Kate Fletcher)


Sundance, Berlin 2012


Clive Owen and the riveting Andrea Riseborough play a high-odds game of spy and spymaster in this gritty nerve-wracking thriller. Weary of the violence of her brothers Collette (Riseborough), a young mother and reluctant IRA operative, is trapped into betraying her kin by Owen’s Brit intelligence officer. — BG

“While best known for the documentaries Man on Wire [NZIFF08] and Project Nim [NZIFF11], director James Marsh spreads himself between non-fiction and narrative features. He’s working with riveting assurance in the latter field in Shadow Dancer, a slow-burning, intricately plotted thriller set during a tense transitional period in Northern Ireland.

A television correspondent in that country in the 1990s, Tom Bradby adapted the screenplay from his novel. He brings a coolheaded understanding of the political canvas and a highly disciplined approach to the drama, both of which mesh well with Marsh’s restrained style…

While Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and, to a lesser extent, David Hare’s recent telemovie, Page Eight, indicate a possible resurgence of the British espionage thriller, this is something more intimately combustible. Having the spying take place within a deeply scarred family creates an unsettling dynamic of loyalties and betrayals both personal and political, with the opposing forces of self-preservation and sibling love ratcheting up the tension… The story in itself is first-rate. However, it’s the very measured handling that makes it distinctive… Bradby’s unerringly intelligent script never makes a move that’s not vital to the narrative fabric.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter