Truth

"Excellent"

Truth Review


That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall of iconic American newscaster Dan Rather in 2004. And while the film's script is rather talky (it's like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crossed with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck), it's strongly made point is too important to ignore. And it features yet another storming, intelligent performance from Cate Blanchett.

She plays Mary Mapes, a producer at the classic CBS news programme 60 Minutes, who just a few months before the 2004 presidential election is working on a story about incumbent George W. Bush's shady National Guard service during the Vietnam War. She has an ace team of investigators (including Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss), plus the nation's top news anchor Rather (Robert Redford). But after the story airs, Mary is attacked with questions about the authenticity of a series of memos that trace irregularities in Bush's service record. Her boss (Bruce Greenwood) applies plenty of pressure as the controversy gains more traction than the story itself. And the media storm that follows catches everyone by surprise.

This account is based on Mapes' own memoir about these events, which gives the film a personal, as opposed to journalistic, tone. It hints heavily at both government and corporate efforts to discredit the story, putting Mapes and her entire team in an impossible situation. The film also makes it clear that those memos were indeed real, and that the controversy was actually just misdirection. What brings this to life is the revelatory acting from the ensemble cast, led beautifully by Blanchett, who gives Mary a passion for the truth that's fuelled by her inner demons. And the entire supporting cast adds layers of wit and insight, although Redford kind of relaxes on his easy charm as the engaged, engaging Rather.

Writer-director James Vanderbuilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) keeps the film sharp and pacey, drawing on the edgy humour journalists use to cope with the grim stories they cover. Sometimes, the film's various political angles seem oddly simplistic, especially since the script clearly takes a side in all of this. But this also highlights the central point that a truly ethical journalist will investigate a story and report exactly what they find, even if it's something they disagree with. But then, that's a kind of journalist that's not easy to find in a day when the news has essentially become entertainment that needs to keep its sponsors and corporate owners happy.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Truth:



Truth

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 125 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th October 2015

Box Office USA: $2.5M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Echo Lake Entertainment, RatPac Entertainment, Mythology Entertainment (II)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 71 Rotten: 46

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Dan Rather, as Mary Mapes, as Lucy Scott, as Mike Smith, as Colonel Roger Charles, as Andrew Heyward, as Josh Howard, as Mark Wrolstad, Andrew McFarlane as Dick Hibey, Martin Sacks as Colonel Robert Strong, Nicholas Hope as Marcel Matley, as Gil Schwartz, Lee Anne Ford as Military Wife, as Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett, as Lawrence Lanpher

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