Liam Page has always been one of those guys who has it all, he's popular has a family who loves him on the sports teams at school and has a girlfriend who adores him. Liam and Josie decided that they were young but ready to commit to one another for the rest of their lives and decided to marry.
The pair plan their wedding but at the last minute, Liam decides he needs to go off and fulfil some of his life ambitions. Though Josie is his best friend and he knows that he'll never be able to find anyone to fill the gap Josie currently does, he still goes ahead and leaves.
As Josie continues with her small-town life, Liam becomes a global success. He's a household name and has released a number of country albums that have made him a fortune. He's significantly outgrown his former life. Ten years pass and when Liam hears about the death of one of his best friends from school, he's left looking back and questioning how his life has become the way it has.
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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.
Continue reading: Truth Review
Mary Mapes is the producer of CBS' '60 Minutes' and, in the run up to the 2004 presidential election, she's looking for a story for her and her team - including anchor Dan Rather - to chase. The team discovers evidence that President George W. Bush failed to complete the required amount of military service during his time in the Texas Air National Guard during the 70s. It's a story that could truly bring down the right wing government if only they can get hold of some solid documents to support the story. That's when Bill Burkett comes in; he's the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Texas Air National Guard and he claims to be in possession of some papers criticising Bush's lack of attendance for his military service, written by his commander at the time Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. Unfortunately, in their haste to air the controversial information, the '60 Minutes' team fail to have the documents authenticated - and when several experts out the papers as forgeries, it seems the tables quickly turn on these newscasters in the most devastating way.
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In the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia lies a blue-collar coal-mining town called Big Stone Gap, full of hard-workers and morally upstanding citizens. Ave Maria Mulligan isn't getting any younger, but she's no qualms about living life as a spinster while working at the local pharmacy. She has plenty of friends and more than enough stability, but all that's about to change with the death of her mother. She discovers secrets she never knew about her family, including the truth about her Italian father who she's determined to travel to Europe to visit. Then out of nowhere her only love interest wants to marry her, but she's not sure if she's ready for that. This woman has enough on her plate to keep her busy, but she's really got to think about what she wants from her life now.
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Jon Robin Baitz, John Benjamin Hickey and Sarah Jessica Parker - Jon Robin Baitz, John Benjamin Hickey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen New York City, USA - Opening night of the Lincoln Center production of 'Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz' at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater - Arrivals Thursday 13th January 2011
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Hunt is April Epner, a 39-year-old schoolteacher, married to Ben (Matthew Broderick), the puffy, neighborhood schlub. April is childless and longs for "a baby that is really hers." Being an adopted daughter in a close-knit Jewish family (she envies Ben Shenkman's Freddy, the biological family brother), she wants the biological connection of a birth child. As the film begins, her mother Trudy (Lynn Cohen) is in the hospital, her father has died, and April's comfortable world is about to explode. Things go awry from the get-go when April, obsessed with getting pregnant, greets Ben at home with a nightie under her coat, eager for a surprise tumble. But Ben tops her by announcing his decision to leave their months old marriage. Things continue falling apart -- April juggling the death of Trudy, having an affair with the embittered, divorced Frank (Colin Firth), and -- to top it all off -- the sudden appearance of April's biological mother, Bernice Graves, a brassy, unpretentious loudmouth and local talk-show hostess, played by Bette Midler (who else?).
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In the opening scene, Wendy Makkena (Sister Act, Air Bud) stars as Rhonda Portelli, a young woman who becomes infatuated with a naked man she sees about to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately, Travis Furlong, played by John Benjamin Hickey (The General's Daugher, Love! Valour! Compassion!), doesn't take this plunge and save us from the next hour and a half.
Continue reading: Finding North Review
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