(Review originally written at 29 September 2008)

I still don't know what to really think of this movie. On the one side it's a really made movie, that got well directed and features some fine performances from its actors. But on the other hand it just isn't the most interesting movie ever made because it lacked a certain depth for me. For instance this movie doesn't really explain the things why Stephen Glass did the things he did. We just never get to know what makes him tick and therefore this movie as a character study and character movie (which this movie obviously is) just isn't effective enough.

The movie is perhaps a bit too self aware and ambitious. The movie feels to self righteous at times. It was like the movie had a story and they knew in advance how they wanted the movie to end but somewhat forgot to build up effectively to it and the way the story progresses instead feels very obligatory and also predictable. Basically when you're being objective you'll also notice that the first and the last halve of the movie don't really connect that well and feel quite different from each other. As a matter of fact, halve way through the movie I actually wondered to myself what the point of the first halve of the movie exactly was for the story, since the story really started to take off halve way through.

But no it's not a horrible movie or one that I hated watching, it got too well made for that. Billy Ray is a director with potential but he's more a person who gives more priority to his writing. He wrote a couple of screenplays for some big and successful Hollywood production. He's currently working on the screenplay for the "Westworld" remake.

But what also made this movie such a fine watch was its acting. The foremost reason why this movie didn't became a real box-office success or the reason why this movie isn't really that well known is because Hayden Christensen is playing the main lead. He got criticized a lot for his acting in the new Star Wars movies and he made this movie between "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith". Therefor most people just weren't interest in this movie but in all fairness he is perfectly cast in this movie and plays his role really well. He plays a reporter who is lying to his teeth during the entire movie and he does this very convincing. In the sequences you can tell when he is lying but at the same time you can also somewhat understand why his colleagues still simply believe him and take for granted what he is saying. A great accomplishment from Christensen. But who also deserves credit is Peter Sarsgaard, who perhaps plays the best role out of the movie. Other fine actors such as Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson and Hank Azaria also appear in this movie but I don't know, I just don't feel that there parts are important enough within the movie to really leave an impression.

It's a fine enough watchable little movie but I just wasn't really taken by it.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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