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Veronica Guerin Review


Very Good
Before we even get into talking about Veronica Guerin, one thing needs to be made abundantly clear: Cate Blanchett is most likely the greatest actress working in film today. Like pretty much every other performance she has given, Ms. Blanchett (how long it will be before she becomes Dame Blanchett?) buries herself so thoroughly in her role here as a real-life crusading Irish journalist that one wonders how she could ever dig herself out again. As for the movie, it's essentially a vehicle for Blanchett's tour de force performance, and while that's not always a great thing (there are several wasted opportunities in the film) it's not necessarily a bad thing (it stays the hell out of her way).

And from the looks of it, everyone stayed out of Veronica Guerin's way. The real Guerin (her story was previously made as the morose When the Sky Falls, starring Joan Allen) was a star columnist for Dublin's Sunday Independent in the 1990s who decided to start writing about the gangsters behind the explosion of drug trade sweeping across the city. As presented by Blanchett, Guerin was a pretty fearsome, fearless creature, not afraid to simply walk into Dublin's worst slums, stepping over the syringes carpeting the ground, and start asking questions of the junkies and even the dealers. She has a convenient stool pigeon in arch-criminal John "The Coach" Traynor (the marvelous Ciarán Hinds), whom she treats as an underworld rock star of sorts in her column, in exchange for information. It's an education in charm just watching Blanchett stalk into a room, fix on the person she needs to get something out of, be it The Coach, a friendly police detective, or even a member of Parliament, and just about always get what she wants. She's like a bulldozer in a sharp suit. And when Dublin's worst start pressuring her to back off the story - a fist to the face, a bullet through the window of her study - it just adds fuel to the fire.

Continue reading: Veronica Guerin Review

Veronica Guerin Review


Good

In 1996, high-profile anti-drug crusading Irish journalist Veronica Guerin was violently gunned down in broad daylight at a highway crossing. The event galvanized the island nation, resulted in a sweeping take-back-the-streets campaign in the Dublin slums and led to constitutional changes allowing the freezing of assets and seizure of "unexplained wealth" from suspected drug kingpins.

But Guerin's one-woman uphill battle against the nation's deeply entrenched criminal element might seem like the stuff of TV movies if it weren't for the warmth and tenacity of Cate Blanchett's beautifully well-rounded starring performance and the unblinking starkness of director Joel Schumacher's gritty account of the events leading to her death.

"Veronica Guerin" doesn't paint its subject as a saintly heroine, but as a the inexperienced investigative reporter she was, driven more by dogged fearlessness than journalistic savvy (she'd been a writer of human interest features and church scandal stories). The always sublime Blanchett ("Elizabeth," "Heaven") captures her character's beloved motherhood, her matter-of-fact compassion for the slum-dwelling young victims of Mercedes-driving heroine pushers, and her a gift for cutting to the bone with bold stories that do everything but name names (which she couldn't do under the nation's strict libel laws).

Continue reading: Veronica Guerin Review

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Barry Barnes Movies

Veronica Guerin Movie Review

Veronica Guerin Movie Review

Before we even get into talking about Veronica Guerin, one thing needs to be made...

Veronica Guerin Movie Review

Veronica Guerin Movie Review

In 1996, high-profile anti-drug crusading Irish journalist Veronica Guerin was violently gunned down in broad...

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