‘Winner’ Review: Emilia Jones Can’t Save This Perfunctory Portrait of a Whistleblower

Sundance 2024: Though it finds occasional moments of resonance, this take on the true story is too broad to leave an impact

Winner
Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Right out of the gate in “Winner,” the newest film to grapple with the story of the U.S. Air Force veteran turned NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, things get off to a mighty rocky start. We hear narration from the latest performer to play Winner, a committed Emilia Jones, drolly explaining how nobody knows who she is other than they like to make fun of her unique name.

While this becomes a more valuable point later on about the dangers of media cycles and whether we’re paying attention to the real issues that matter, it also sets a troubling tone for the rest of the film.

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