Thursday, May 5, 2022



Screenplay by Michelle Ashford

Directed by John Madden

Produced by Seesaw Films

Released by Transmission Films

Opening in cinemas May 12


Reviewed by Len Power at a Palace Cinemas preview 4 May 2022


‘Operation Mincemeat’ was a successful World War II deception in 1943 by Britain to make Germany believe that an invasion of Greece was imminent when the real invasion was planned for Sicily.

A body, dressed as a British Royal Marine officer with papers detailing an invasion of Greece with a Sicily invasion as a fake, was floated off the coast of Spain.  The papers were intercepted by German officials who fell for the ruse completely.  Sicily was liberated more quickly than anticipated and losses were lower than predicted.

John Madden’s film of the planning and execution of this deception is full of fascinating detail.  The personal stories of the main participants as they go about their highly secretive work are equally absorbing.

Matthew MacFadyan and Colin Firth

The cast is a ‘Who’s Who’ of current British performers playing the real-life participants in the operation.  Colin Firth plays Naval Intelligence Officer, Ewen Montagu, who teams up with MI5 agent, Charles Cholmondeley, played by Matthew MacFadyan, to develop the plan.  Other recognizable actors in the cast are Penelope Wilton, Kelly MacDonald, Simon Russell Beale and Alex Jennings.  This ensemble of expert actors gives the film a gritty realism.  The shadowy cinematography of Sebastian Blenkov provides the film with a realistic impression of a downbeat wartime Britain.

Kelly MacDonald and Matthew MacFadyan

This could have been a typical action-packed war movie, but the film concentrates on the step by step solution of problems faced by the planning team to ensure the Germans would take the bait.  When certain things don’t quite go to plan, the tension becomes almost unbearable.  With one member of the team being watched by another for potential spy activities, the film moves into John le Carre territory, giving it even greater depth.

This is an intelligent and very enjoyable film of an extraordinary real life event in World War II.

‘Operation Mincemeat’ will be released in cinemas nationally on May 12.  You can view the trailer at


Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at