Movie Mom

Movie Mom


State of Play

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references including adultery
Alcohol/Drugs:Drug addicts, drug abuse, drinking
Violence/Scariness:Characters in peril, injured and killed
Diversity Issues:Strong female characters
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 1, 2009

You need six things for a successful Washington thriller: a reporter, a Congressman, a dead girl, a choleric editor, some ugly secrets, and, for some reason, a chase inside a parking garage, not so sure why that last one seems to be so indispensable. “State of Play” has them all. You don’t necessarily need authentic Washington locations, but “State of Play” has that, too, and it is a pleasure to see more than the monuments, with real-life Washington landmarks like Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Americana Hotel providing an extra layer of realism.

There may be some of-the-moment gloss on this sharp Washington thriller, with references to hard times for newspapers and boom times for outsourcing national security, but its essence is struggles between power and accountability and that are always at the intersection of politics, money, and journalism and of course the movies about them, too.

Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck play former roommates with a lot of baggage — Crowe is a reporter for the “Washington Globe” and we can tell he has integrity because his apartment, car, hair, and clothes are such a mess no one would otherwise keep him around. The traditional cub reporter with more spirit than experience but who will show surprising grit and ingenuity before the third act has evolved into a blogger (Rachel McAdams). The traditional handsome young Congressman who may have compromised his ideals and his disappointed wife are played by Ben Affleck (good) and Robin Wright Penn (better). And the traditional peppery newspaper editor who wants copy NOW because every hour we delay print costs some astronomical sum and we’re losing our readers, dammit! (yes, that tradition stretches back to the movies of the 1930′s) is played with frosty fury by Helen Mirren.

There are chase scenes, including one in a parking lot, another standard for Washington thrillers. But the up to the minute details, sharp talk, smooth performances, and a couple of surprising twists hold the interest and keep us engaged.



Previous Posts

The Art of John Alvin -- Designer of Iconic Movie Posters
Any fan of film history and design will love this magnificent new book devoted to the iconic movie posters and other artwork from John Alvin, assembled and written by his widow, Andrea Alv

posted 8:00:05am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Guest Post: Tara Sonenshine on "Calvary"
My deepest thanks to Tara Sonenshine for allowing me to publish her thoughtful comments on "Calvary," starring Brendan Gleeson as a troubled priest in a small Irish t

posted 11:19:17pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Effie Gray, Starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her "Sense and Sensibility" screenplay. She wrote and stars in "Effie Gray," with Dakota Fanning, the real-life story of the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin (David Suchet), and his much-younger bride, Effie Gray. Tom Sturridge plays John Millais, the artist she mar

posted 3:30:30pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

New MacArthur Genius Award Winners Include Alison Bechdel and Joshua Oppenheimer
It is always a treat to see the worthy awardees of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." The foundations awards are unique because you cannot apply for them and there are no restrictions on the use of the money given to the recipients. The awards committee reviews the work of people making ex

posted 9:53:29am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Birthday US Constitution!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzAJyK0ovo8[/youtube] It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let's celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them. [youtube]https://www.youtu

posted 8:00:21am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.