Saturday, October 3, 2009

State of Play (2009)

Director: Kevin MacDonald. Cast: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jeff Daniels, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis. 127 min. Rated PG-13. Political/Thriller.

When a movie boasts so many interesting actors at every corner, and is made by a director who has "The Last King of Scotland" and "One Day in September" in his dossier, you obviously expect more. Don't get me wrong - "State of Play" is as intriguing as political thrillers get, and you'll be intently listening to every line of dialogue to keep up with the pace. But in the end, I was a little confused: Was this a movie inspired by and in condemnation of the Iraq Blackwater scandal, or about the value of newspaper over blogging?

Mo says:


  1. Ya agree, the last 20 minutes was kind of trying to make things look mysterious. But ruined the whole movie. agree - so so

  2. I liked the move because it brushed on several troubling modern phenomena: The outsourcing of the federal government's constitutional duties to for-profit organizations, the death of traditional journalism (by far the most terrifying), and non-stop internet blizzard of fragmented information that makes the word "truth" almost meaningless and breeds conspiracy theories and extremism. Was it Thomas Jefferson who said "I'd rather live in a country with newspapers and no government than one with government and no newspapers?"

  3. "Blizzard of fragmented information". You can say that again. And the end credits of the movie (very much focused on the concept of newspapers) made me feel nostalgic for the days that news came to us though newspaper and primetime news. But again, the plot that kept me attracted was the privatization of the military, and that's why I suddenly got confused during the last few minutes what the movie was about. I think the filmmakers weakened a very strong message by losing focus on their main subject.

  4. So...a triller about journalist-politician challenges,focusing on corruption & conspiracy, containg some personal and attractive items like an old friendship,plus great performance of Crowe (with his new hair!) and handsome Ben Affleck is not enough for making a movie noticeable ? It is.
    The twists and turns were good,although there was some vague points in the plot that I didn't get it exactly and need to ask.I didn't feel any contrast between main subject and value of traditional and modern journalism at the end credits .On the contrary , I thought the filmmaker's concern was necessity of both of them for revealing some terrible facts like this.

  5. New hair? I actually thought Crowe looked like a bum.

    BTW, "So-so" doesn't mean it was a bad movie! It just means it didn't have a lasting effect on me when the movie was over. ;-)