Although the country in question is never named, the subject here is unequivocally that of US involvement in the 1973 military coup in Allende’s Chile.
Based on the true story of a young American, Charles Horman, who disappeared during the Chile coup, drama [from a book by Thomas Hauser] presents John Shea and Sissy Spacek as a vaguely counter-culturish couple living in Santiago.
When Shea inexplicably disappears and Spacek can get nowhere in locating him, his father (Jack Lemmon) flies down to get heavy with US government officials.
Real jolt of the picture, which comes across on an effective personal level due to its impact on Lemmon derives from the premise that, when pressed, the US government places the interests of business above those of individual citizens.
Lemmon is superior as a man facing up to issues he never wanted to confront personally. Edgy and belligerent most of the time, Spacek is more constrained but she’s fully believable.
1982: Best Adapted Screenplay.
Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Jack Lemmon), Actress (Sissy Spacek)