In the UK legal system, when someone is brought to court and evidence could affect national security, that evidence is deemed “closed material” and may only be presented in a “closed session.” Should that happen, the defendant’s own barrister is not permitted in that session and a Special Advocate must be appointed. So is the case in John Crowley’s Closed Circuit.
When a crowded London market is bombed, the sole surviving member of the alleged terrorist cell responsible is charged with the crime. When that man’s lawyer suddenly passes away, Eric Bana’s Martin Rose is selected to take over the position. Meanwhile, the Attorney General must also pick a Special Advocate to serve as an additional defense lawyer and specifically handle the classified evidence during the “closed” session. Rebecca Hall’s Claudia Simmons-Howe takes the job and once she sees the top-secret evidence, she’s forbidden from communicating with the defendant and the rest of the defense team, including Martin. As if their effort to hide their romantic history doesn’t make that difficult enough, both Claudia and Martin come to realize that something isn’t quite right and that a conspiracy could put the case and their lives at risk.
All of that is quite a bit to digest, but if you’re looking for some Britain court system 101 embedded in a captivating thriller, Closed Circuit strives to deliver just that.
Ahead of the film’s Wednesday, August 28 release, ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to sit down with Bana, Hall, and Crowley to discuss the challenge of not just appearing to be experts in the field, but really selling it, as well as the truth behind the fictional tale and more.
You can catch it all in the video player below.