Review: Truth

"They don't get to smack us just for asking the question."

This happened when I was in high school. I worked three jobs to avoid going home until late at night and was very self involved. I vaguely remember my Government teacher talking about this. I don't think I actually took the time to read about it until years later. I didn't care. I grew up in a red state that was going to back Bush anyways. I wish I would've taken it a bit more seriously then.

Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) is a producer for 60 minutes who gets word of a story about President George W. Bush getting special treatment to go into the national guard to avoid Vietnam. She assembles a team of Mike Smith, (Topher Grace) Col. Roger Charles (Dennis Quad) and Lucy Scott (Elisabeth Moss) and gets to work. She's given a close in air date, so they do not properly verify the documents without a shadow of a doubt. She notifies anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) who puts his trust in Mary. They air the story and the following day, people being to dissect it as a fraud.

This film has a rough time by default. CBS refuses to advertise it. It's being accused of making martyrs out of people who didn't do their job properly. That aside, no matter where you lean politically, Truth is very engaging and well made. 

I can always appreciate when a film based on a real story can still feel suspenseful even when you know the ending, and that's how this felt. Many other reviews said this felt like it could've been on an episode of HBO's The Newsroom, I agree, and I think that's a massive compliment. Everything about how this film handles journalism is fascinating. Blanchett is an absolute treasure. She's wonderfully intense, vulnerable, and funny all at the same time. The scene where Mary is at her hearing, and she points out how people would rather whine about the documents being copies instead of listening to the real story is so well done. With the camera getting closer to her as she continues her rant. She doesn't get angrier the closer it gets, she stays just the right amount of angry the whole time. It's brilliant.

The supporting cast doesn't quite match up to the magnitude of Blanchett, though Grace, I thought in particular was very good. This isn't something I'm used to seeing him in. But the pacing is perfect and in my opinion presents a very fair analysis on what happened. They didn't sugar coat the mistakes made. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "What are you going to do? Tell them how we ruined modern journalism together?" - Mike Smith (Topher Grace)

14 comments:

  1. I really can't wait to see this one. I love me some Blanchett, and I'm all for Grace finally being taken seriously. I've been a fan of his for a long time, but he rarely gets the chance to show us his talents in a film people care to see.

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    1. I'm used to him in comedies, and while he's sort of the comic relief, he shows more range than I expected him too. I hope you like it as much as I did.

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  2. I was freshly out of college and focused on myself, so I really wasn't paying as close attention as much as I should have been. You weren't the only one! I haven't seen this film but it really does seem like an episode of 'Newsroom.' Sometimes I feel like films like this are made too soon after the real-life event. That seems to be a current trend in filmmaking...strike the iron while it's hot. If this film had been made 10 years from now I think it would have been promoted more. That said Robert Redford isn't getting any younger.

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    1. I loved The Newsroom so much I'm practically like "Hell yes, give me movies that could be episodes of The Newsroom!" lol

      I don't think it's *too* soon. It's been a decade since it all went down, and I don't believe this story is well known outside of the States, so I'm okay with the moving happening now instead of later.

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  3. It's good to see Redford in one of his political style movies which he used to do back in the 70's. I have heard good things about this film and bad-the bad I figure of from the Bush Supporters. This is a great review

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    1. Yeah, I think most conservatives that can't put their political beliefs aside for a movie won't like this. It's kind of annoying, actually, because the journalist are showing massively fucking up. It's not like martyrs were made out of them, even though Mary makes a damn good point about no one actually trying to prove her story, and instead arguing about fonts.

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  4. I thought the pacing was off in this movie but loved Blachett and totally agree about it being kept suspenseful even though we know how it shakes out. I also liked Redford. I thought he got into character without doing an imitation.

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    1. I'm usually not a big fan of Redford, but he was good here. He felt natural.

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  5. Yeah, I was happy to see Topher back as well. The film itself is very middle of the road, but i did like its take on modern journalism.

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    1. I really liked your review of this when I read it. You know a lot more about journalism then I do, so I enjoyed reading your take on it.

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  6. I saw the trailer for this and it was such a bad trailer - it looked like made for TV movie. But I'm sold on good reviews and Blanchett's involvement also I really like movies about journalism

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    1. While it reminds me of the Newsroom, it definitely doesn't have TV movie quality feel. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to see it.

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  7. It's a sold film, for sure. Blanchett NAILS it, and I agree on Grace, who deserves more roles like this.

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    1. I think these roles suit him better at this point in his career. I watched him in American Ultra recently and wasn't as impressed as I was here.

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