Sunday, April 18, 2010
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (2009)
CAST: Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, David Schwimmer, Alan Alda, Vera Farminga, Noah Wyle, Jamey Sheridan, Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett
Written & Directed By: Rod Lurie
Cinematography By: Alik Sakharov
Editor: Sarah Boyd
The material is thrilling and edge of your seat worthy. The film has good performances but it feels so basic. It seems like there is no real effort or energy in the film. Which is interesting for a film that is based loosely on a real life tale. They obviously take a lot of liberties with the story.
The Film revolves around a reporter who refuses to give up her source in a story that reveals a CIA agent’s identity and is prosecuted and jailed for it. For standing up to the government and refusing to name her source. Behind bars her life falls apart as does her marriage. We also see what kind of damage it does to the ousted CIA agent’s life as she even becomes a suspect to being the anonymous source.
This film comes before the similar themed project FAIR GAME that covers the same story but has a bigger budget and bigger name actors such as Sean Penn and Naomi watts Directed By Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) which I’m sure will be a little more flashy. This film maybe lower budgeted but it also lets the story be more intimate and not as distracting with issues and Subplots that are rally not needed so it tells one main story.
I believe everyone in the cast does well as far as performances but as usual Vera Farminga excels in her role as the ousted agent she has the right amount of paranoia, toughness, emotion and demeanor. Alan Alda seems to be spending his career at this oint playing high priced attorneys and politicians. It seems to be the only work he gets probably because he is so good at it ironic since his career and personal beliefs have always been so liberal but as usual he is memorable in his role as Kate Beckinsale’s attorney.
Part of the joy of the film is seeing certain TV Actors play against type like David Schwimmer as Kate’s worrywart and weak willed husband who cracks under the pressure of the government and Noah Wyle as the angry newspaper lawyer who thinks he has it all figured out and gets a very rude awakening.
One of the interesting characters is Matt Dillon’s who is the villain of the piece Everytime you think he is going to be nice and decent he only becomes worse and with a friendly demeanor like he is being forced to do these acts and the decisions he makes aren’t his. When he is the power behind it at the end which has a subtle shock we truly find out the reason she never budged when asked and forced to reveal her source and or sources.
This is not a flashy movie as everything is told dryly and direct though the emotions do come after all the questions and decisions. Even the prison scenes are not as over the top as most filmmakers would have had them to convey the horror of being imprisoned.
Director Rod Lurie has a history of political themed projects. So this is almost like his bread and butter. he started out as a film reviewer then made his writing directing debut with the film DETERRENCE about the president of the united states having to decide whether to use nuclear weapons. Then there was the film THE CONTENDER about a female trying to rise to the seat of vice president with rumors of her past blocking her from ascending the seat though there is barely any evidence against her to back the allegations. Then he turned his attention to television with the show COMMANDER IN CHIEF starring Geena Davis as the first female president and then came the show LINE OF FIRE about a female secret service agent showing that they do more then just provide security for the president. His TV shows also seemed like great ideas for movies. So as you can see he has a keen interest in political themed projects. Showing the drama involved.
The film is a satisfying rental.