8 April 2016.
Let’s be honest – it’s the strong acting of Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, and the rest of the accomplished cast, that makes this film especially worthwhile.
But its recounting of the true incident in 2004 that cost the careers of two top television journalists in the U.S. is also an intriguing basis for the film. The nervous reality and pitfalls of TV journalism, and its political undertones, make this work both gripping entertainment and a sober analysis of the weight of power politics.
Blanchett plays Mary Mapes, the producer of the prestigious “60 Minutes” program on CBS, while Redford portrays Dan Rather, CBS’s long-time newscaster. Convinced that she has all the facts straight for her special reporting on George W. Bush’s dubious military record, Mapes and her team put together the controversial segment, believing in its truth. It is an election year, and such revelations could derail Bush’s election campaign. Then facts begin to unravel while all hell breaks loose. The rest is for you to discover in this solid study of both ambition and “the powers that be.”
TRUMAN **** (vo Spanish)
Here’s a tip for you cinephiles: don’t miss any film with the great Argentine actor, Ricardo Darin. Remember him from the superb 2009 Argentinean film, “The Secret in Their Eyes”, or “Wild Tales”? For this latest one, he has come over to Spain – Barcelona, to be exact. And, as in his home country, there is an immediacy, truthfulness and reality to Spanish cinema that is remarkable.
This film, by the Catalan/Spanish director Cesc Gay, is a fine example, as Gay takes us down unexpected paths which can both amuse and perplex in their deep look into life, friendship and death. The film is above all a tale of male bonding and fidelity, in its many forms. But then it is also about the courage of a man facing imminent death, and preparing for it as best he can. And then it is about Truman, his faithful dog, for whom he needs to find a home, after he is gone.
All this happens when an old friend (a fine Javier Camara) comes to visit him from Canada. And becomes an accomplice to his determined steps to the last days of his life. There is the unending generosity of his friend, there is an ex-wife, a girlfriend and a son in Amsterdam – relationships that he needs and wants to face. But none of these crucial moments ever fall into pathos or sentimentality. He must just get on with his life, living every moment fully.
Darin and Camara play off each other with a grace that is all the more moving for its discretion and matter-of-factness. This surprising, touching film ran away with almost all the awards at the Spanish Goyas, including best film, director, both actors and script. Deservedly so.
Run to this one.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.