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From The Booth
The film begins in 2000, when Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) is removed from her quiet suburban home, arrested for crimes against the state. We then flashback to Cambridge in the late 1930s, where Joan (Sophie Cookson) is swept up in the enthusiasm of fighting fascism in Spain and the ideals of breaking down the class system of her homeland. As WWII begins, young Joan becomes a highly valued operative for British intelligence. But she is torn between her romantic interests for a fellow operative and her former lover, a Marxist agitator from college. Red Joan alternates between young Joan's struggles between social idealism and political loyalty and not-so-young Joan's present interrogation. While the film steers closer to the style of Masterpiece Theatre than the internecine intrigues of a Le Carré adaptation, Red Joan offers solid entertainment.