1. The secret to understanding Syriana is picking up the name of Tim Blake Nelson’s character (for the record: Danny Dalton). He’s name-checked several times before he’s actually introduced, and that name is key to linking together all the various story threads.

    The first time I saw the film, I missed his name for some reason, and shared Denby’s confusion. The second time I caught it and everything fell beautifully into place.

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