A perfect example of how Hollywood is still a studio run outfit. Not directors. Not star power. Studios decide how, when and what we see. Just as this film was about to be released and as lead actress Kate Beckinsale got a nomination for her turn in it
Inspired by true events, the film is about believing in what you do and sticking to your guns. No matter the price. Doing what is right isn’t always easy. Also shows how little journalists are protected when they protect their sources as they are supposed to. Ethical and moral questions are posed.
Being a political journalist for one of the newspapers in Washington is quite an undertaking. You have to cultivate and nurture your contacts and sources. People, especially those in the political world, tend to stay away from you knowing that anything they say could end up in the newspaper. When the ambitious Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale – Underworld, The Aviator) stumbles upon a source that has information that could take down the sitting President she goes ahead guns a blazing.
In her article she states that the President ignored intel from a covert CIA agent to go ahead with bombings on Venezuela. Rachel goes so far as to name and blow the cover of the CIA agent, Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga – from television’s Bates Motel). To make matters even more tricky, Rachel and Erica’s children are in the same school and class.
The government is furious and launches a legal effort to force Rachel to name her source. When she refuses she is jailed for contempt. Despite the government’s unwillingness to buckle, Rachel will not give in. Days turn into months and then years. She will not compromise her principles.
Kate Beckinsale is a standout in one of the meatiest roles of her career. Rather unglamourous as well, as she spends most of her onscreen time in jail. Not surprisingly, as she does a great job in whatever she undertakes, Vera Farmiga is also good in a supporting role.
The story moves along at a realistic pace and draws you in to its moral conundrums. Marriage, motherhood and sticking to what is right are all part and parcel of the story. Though it involves a rather large and splashy headline grabbing story it really is about human nature and behaviour. How would you behave faced with the same situation is on your mind the entire film. Plus, each character has their pros and cons. No one is completely good or bad. Every one of them is grey. Making it all that much more interesting and realistic.
Freedom of the press and power of the state. This is a topic (the film was originally released in 2008) which is rather timely now, no? Because this is not a Hollywood film the tone is different. It is not slave to box office and being splashy enough to draw in huge numbers. The focus remains on being true to the story and the telling of it in the best possible way.
-Commentary with Writer/Director Rod Lurie and Producer Marc Frydman
-The Truth Hurts: The Making of Nothing But the Truth
-Previews of Blu-ray Disc is High Definition!, What Doesn’t Kill You, The Accidental Husband, Dark Streets, Fragments, The Poker Club, Vinyan, What Goes Up, The Art of War III: Retirbution