Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nothing But the Truth

Rod Lurie's "Nothing But the Truth" is the first real attempt to make a movie out of the Valerie Plame Scandal, and unfortunately it's not the piece that the story deserved. It's entirely concealed within an idiotic but mildly intelligent and fictional satire written by Lurie himself. On the standards of interest, the film pulls in the audience to check what's changed in the adaptation (practically everything). I was definitely drawn to a film like this. But the problem is that it's mediocre and is cliched as a screenplay. Since there is a small glint of a political spin here, Lurie constructs a unoriginal backstory. This impairs a possibly brilliant idea that could have been completely coaxed out. The two most significant changes, both huge spoilers, seem like pieces of plot driven fully into the ground as if Lurie had a hard time continuing his film, but they provide for the film's only real points. Anyways, the film chronicles a reporter's (Kate Beckinsale) choice to not tell who gave her information on Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent. The Plame reincarnation is played by Vera Fermiga, in scenes that consist of her bubbling over in extreme expletives as means of conveying anger. So, the reporter is brought to jail after she denies repeatedly to give up the crucial information to the investigator (Matt Dillon). She thus begins a semi-self-imposed jail term where she tries to keep her integrity while her marriage to a generic popular fiction writer (David Schwimmer) falls to pieces and her relationship with her child gets harder. As I said, outside of the central events of the film (i.e. the scandal), the film is a disappointing support system. It's fairly routine in terms of technicalities. Beckinsale brings limited desperation to her role, while Dillon surely brings a lot of the menace stockpiled in his arsenal. Alan Alda is so-so as Beckinsale's lawyer. Lurie's performance as a director is for sure subpar. His decision to commence the film with the president being shot is underwhelming. The POTUS of the film is not relatable to anyone such as George W. Bush. It's a plot move to further obscure the facts, what really happened. Look, "Nothing But the Truth" is an interesting look into journalism and the final moments of the film show a real bitter edge given towards newspaper writing. But Lurie gets his agenda mixed up. He should pick one topic of two to pursue: the legitimacy of journalism, or the Valerie Plame Scandal. Here, he combines both, and while this may seem like an logical choice, it doesn't result that way. If he had aimed for source-like satire, he should have gone smaller scale, recalling the Plame ordeal via satire instead of the way he recalls it here. It's really not the place to test this satire: it's too implausible, and the events leading up to it are too serious. It could have been smarter, and, if separated, the Plame movie could be more of a commentary. C

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