Truth: Film Review

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I love a journalism drama and two come along within the space of a couple of months – Spotlight and now Truth. Good news is that they are both brilliant, but I’m totally biased as a journalist myself. I have not been able to stop talking about Truth since I saw it and I have just ordered the book it’s based on – not many films can inspire me to do that.

The always incredible Cate Blanchett is the real-life journalist Mary Mapes, a producer of an episode of news show 60 Minutes back in 2004, in the run-up to the U.S. Presidential election. She has a potential lead from a source who claims George W. Bush (who is seeking re-election) did not fulfil his requirements during his time serving with the National Guard in the 1970s. Mary and her team Roger (Dennis Quaid), Mike (Topher Grace) and Lucy (Elisabeth Moss) find the evidence to back up the story and they put out the program presented by the respected news anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford).

Then everything goes to hell. People start questioning the authenticity of the documents they used as evidence and her bosses at CBS start an investigation which uncovers more and more problems with their news gathering. The team bear the brunt of the news story whereas Bush receives no heat from the allegations.

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This is absolutely fascinating, but I love studies about the relationship between journalism and politics. This will certainly not float everybody’s boat. It is dense and dialogue-heavy and it is very fast-paced. New sources, pieces of investigation and bombshells are dropped all the time and I was on the edge of my seat towards the end. It is infuriating that the potentially forged documents are made the focus of the national spotlight when their story about Bush is most likely true, but the claims are ignored due to one piece of evidence.

Mapes slowly unravels as investigators pick apart her journalistic instincts and conduct. It is no surprise that she never worked in broadcast journalism again after this case as it leaves her at her lowest ebb. Blanchett plays it so well – although there was no doubt of that. Redford is also brilliant in a much more subtle and poised fashion – he is the face of their mistake because he presented their findings as fact. Nobody in the cast lets the side down and totally brings it.

Sure, this pushes its own political agenda and has a lot to say about news corporations and their relationship with the Government, but I enjoyed that. I know it has probably swayed the story in a certain way but I am not concerned about it but other more politically mind will likely take issue. It is compelling story and captivated me the entire time. This is 100% brilliant. I went home and read all I could on the subject – that’s how invested I was.

Released Friday 4th March 

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  1. […] have already seen this and have been raving about it in my review. This is another captivating journalism drama following Spotlight. Cate Blanchett is a producer of […]

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