Monday, November 30, 2009

Nothing But the Truth

Rod Lurie, 2008 (8.2*)
This is a gripping and timely film that features the finest performance to date by British actress Kate Beckinsale as a Washington journalist who outs a CIA agent in a news story because the U.S. has invaded Venezuela after a failed assassination attempt, which the administration blames on that country. Does this sound familiar - can anyone remember Iraq, erroneously linked to the 9/11 terrorists? Kate is facing a jail term for contempt of court for refusal to reveal her source, based on an 80's law making it illegal to reveal a covert agent's identity, even though she hasn't broken the law, her informant has.

The excellent screenplay by director Lurie is another plus for the film, featuring some unforeseen plot twists. However, Matt Dillon is unfortunately out of his element as the prosecuting attorney here, though Alan Alda turns in an adequate job as Kate's defense attorney. There are excellent points raised here re national security vs. freedom and access to information for the public, a problematic issue in today's complex world, as either side can claim a threat to society, especially to our supposed freedom, which is an illusion at best. In a year with a large number of films worth seeing, this one seemed to escape notice but examines some important issues for all western nations, and is an intellectually rewarding political thriller.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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