An Officer as well as a Spy (movie).

2019 film

An Officer and a Spy (French: J’accuse) is a 2019 French drama film directed by Roman Polanski about the Dreyfus affair, with a screenplay by Polanski and Robert Harris based on Harris’ 2013 novel of the same name. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival were it had its premiere on 30 August 2019.[1][2][3]


  • 1 Cast
  • 2 Plot
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Reception
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


  • Jean Dujardin as Georges Picquart
  • Louis Garrel as Captain Alfred Dreyfus
  • Emmanuelle Seigner as Pauline Monnier
  • Mathieu Amalric as Bertillon
  • Melvil Poupaud as Labori
  • Eric Ruf as Sandherr
  • Laurent Stocker as general de Pellieux
  • Michel Vuillermoz as du Paty de Clam
  • Denis Podalydès as Demange
  • Wladimir Yordanoff as general Mercier
  • Didier Sandre as general Boisdeffre
  • Grégory Gadebois as major Henry
  • Vincent Grass as general Billot
  • Hervé Pierre as general Gonse


The film centers on the notorious 19th century Dreyfus affair. Jean Dujardin stars as French officer Georges Picquart. After being appointed chief of the army’s intelligence section (Deuxième Bureau, service de renseignement militaire) in 1895, he discovers that doctored evidence was used to convict Alfred Dreyfus, one of the few Jewish members of the French Army’s general staff, of passing military secrets to the German Empire. Picquart risks his career and his life, struggling for a decade to expose the truth and liberate the wrongly convicted Dreyfus from the dreaded Devil’s Island prison.


Robert Harris was inspired to write the novel by his friend Polanski’s longtime interest in the Dreyfus affair.[4] Harris followed up the novel with a script of the same story, titled D, with Polanski announced as director in 2012.[5]

This film marks the third time Harris has worked with Polanski.[6] Harris previously co-wrote The Ghost Writer with Polanski, which was also an adaptation of one of Harris’s novels, The Ghost. The two first teamed in 2007 on a film adaptation of Harris’s novel Pompeii,[7] which was cancelled just before filming due to a looming actors’ strike.[8][9]

Although set in Paris, An Officer and a Spy was first scheduled to shoot in Warsaw in 2014, for economic reasons.[10] However, production was postponed after Polanski moved to Poland for filming and the U.S. Government filed extradition papers. The Polish government eventually rejected them, by which time new French film tax credits had been introduced, allowing the film to shoot on location in Paris.

The film was budgeted at €60m and was next set to start production in July 2016,[11] however its production was postponed again, while Polanski waited on the availability of a star, whose name was not announced.[12]

Filming began on 26 November 2018[13] and was completed on 28 April 2019.[14] The film was produced by Alain Goldman’s Legende Films and will be distributed by Gaumont.[15]


The film received a standing ovation during its premiere in Venice,[16][17][18] but has overall received mixed reviews from critics.[19] David Sexton from London Evening Standard gave to the film a rating of 4 on 5, declaring that: “It’s an absolute masterclass in how to make an historical film”.[20]


  • ^ a b “Biennale Cinema 2019 | J’accuse”. La Biennale di Venezia. 19 July cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • ^ Vivarelli, Nick (25 July 2019). “Joker, Ad Astra, The Laundromat, Marriage Story to Compete in Venice”. Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  • ^ “Venezia 76 Competition”. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  • ^ Anthony, Andrew (29 September 2013). “Robert Harris: ‘Whenever a crowd is running one way, I run the other'”. The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  • ^ “Roman Polanski to Direct Dreyfus Affair Drama ‘D'”. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  • ^ McClintock, Pamela (9 May 2012). “Roman Polanski to Direct Dreyfus Affair Drama ‘D'”. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  • ^ Variety 1 February 2007: Polanski propels ‘Pompeii’. Retrieved 30 January 2012
  • ^ Rotten Tomatoes 12 September 2007: Roman Polanski Flees Pompeii. Retrieved 30 January 2012
  • ^ Mr. Beaks (5 March 2010). “Mr. Beaks Interrogates The Ghost Writer Novelist-Screenwriter Robert Harris!”. Ain’t It Cool News. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  • ^ “Polanski wants to make next movie in Poland”. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  • ^ “Polanski tournera ” Dreyfus ” en France”. 24 October 2016.
  • ^ “Polański delays filming of spy thriller”. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  • ^ “Jean Dujardin on Instagram: “Au boulot! 1er jour de tournage de #jaccuse de #romanpolanski @robertharrishome #colonel #mariegeorgespicquart””. Instagram.
  • ^ “Jean Dujardin on Instagram: “Fin de tournage! Merci à toute l’équipe. 🙏❤️ #jaccuse de #romanpolanski photo @guyferrandis””. Instagram.
  • ^ AlloCine. “J’accuse : Jean Dujardin chez Roman Polanski pour son film sur l’affaire Dreyfus”.
  • ^ Ulivi, Stefania (30 August 2019). “Venezia 2019, Roman Polanski: «Io come Dreyfus». Applausi al suo film «J’accuse»”. Corriere della Sera.
  • ^ “Venezia 76, applausi a ‘J’accuse’ di Polanski. Dujardin: “Un grande film diretto da un regista-sciamano””.
  • ^ Satta, di Gloria (31 August 2019). “Festival del cinema, Polanski oltre le polemiche elogi e applausi per il suo J’accuse”. ilmessaggeroit.
  • ^ “An Officer and a Spy (J’accuse) (2019)” – via
  • ^ “An Officer and a Spy: Masterclass in how to make an historical film”. Evening Standard. 30 August 2019.
  • External links[edit]

    • An Officer and a Spy on IMDb

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