Movieline‘s Stu VanAirsdale ran into Fair Game‘s Doug Liman last night (i.e., at an event I missed due to seeing Michael Winterbottom‘s The Killer Inside Me) and of course spoke to him about the film, which will show at next month’s Cannes Film Festival:

STV: “It’s kind of a weird climate for this film. There was Nothing But the Truth, which was kind of mishandled. Then there was Green Zone , which audiences were very cool toward. Where will Fair Game fall in this political intrigue/spy thriller spectrum?”

Liman: “I think it’s in the spectrum of ‘it’s a really great movie.’ And a lot of other movies that have been about the war or dealt with the war have not been great movies. In fact, they’ve been motivated more by politics than by story, and that’s been a turn-off to audiences. This is sort of the first political movie that’s been made where I feel like the commitment was there from the first moment to story and character, and not to politics.”

STV: “I overheard you a moment ago mentioning Naomi Watts is outstanding in this. Can you elaborate?”

Liman: “It’s the best she’s ever been. She is just extraordinary in the film. I don’t think there’s anybody — I don’t care how hardcore Republican they might be — who’s not going to look at the film and say, “That was an extraordinary performance. That was a once-in-a-lifetime performance.”

It is now incumbent upon HE commenters, obviously, to politely dispute Liman by pointing out previous political films that were made with a real commitment to “story and character and not to politics.” I’m presuming that Liman really meant to say “story and character first and politics a distant second.”