Edmon Roch spins a zippy yarn of Pujol's improbable exploits from archival footage, talking heads, and clips from classic espionage dramas.
An engrossing documentary that is itself largely a work of the director's imagination.
| Original Score: 3/4
Director Edmon Roch makes some smart conceptual choices that honor his subject's self-invention and mystery.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Fascinating though it is, the movie is thin on historical materials.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Doc's incredible tale of WWII espionage would likely work better as a feature film.
Edmon Roch has a great story to tell in "Garbo the Spy," and he recounts it with the flair of a Hollywood spy movie: "Garbo" is dramatic, entertaining, even funny in parts.
Pulling Garbo's story from Roch's film requires considerable effort. The director takes a cinema verite approach to historical material, which never works, and forgoes narration.
Garbo: The Spy can only suggest who Garcia really was, and why he took it upon himself to fell a tyrant. But even without the fine psychological shading, Garcia's story is a doozy.
| Original Score: B
The jarring juxtapositions only heighten the enigmatic air of the film's subject; even when he's right in front of us, he seems to be plotting his next wily act.
| Original Score: 3/5
Some of this footage feels like filler, but Roch's concept is strong: He's creating a dialogue between the fictions Pujol created to help win the war and the fictions Hollywood created to memorialize that victory.
How does one make a documentary about a cipher? In "Garbo the Spy," Roch solves that problem, and magnificently so.