Mrs. Scribe has never done a movie review in this space, unless, perhaps, you count the nod to "Christmas Family Vacation" that ran last November. Oh, & don't forget the back-to-back Peanuts & "Napoleon Dynamite" mentions in December.
So, I guess one could say I haven't done an "official" film critique...until today. That's because I didn't go to see "State of Play" until last weekend.
To paraphrase the crusty stereotype of reporter, played by Russell Crowe, "That's what you call a damned fine movie."
The tale offers two stories for the price of one. There's the congressman plus reporter plus young Capitol Hill staffer plus the newsroom rookie angle. Then there's the newspaper going down the toilet scenario.
Weave them together with intrigue & top the whole thing off with 4 murders and 3 really sleazy performances by Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman & Jeff Daniels, & you've got a thriller cum periodical tribute piece that's really worth watching.
Mrs. Scribe wishes she had more thumbs to raise in praise of performances by Russell Crowe & Rachel McAdams, although I have to say I still have a difficult time getting past McAdams' 2004 turn as Regina George in "Mean Girls." I keep waiting for her to wiggle her butt when she walks...
And I was thoroughly mesmerized by Helen Mirren's spot-on interpretation of the crazy-sexy-cool Editor who just wants to get the damned paper out, & save a few economic backsides at the same time. She's playing a role that we've seen reprised again & again in film over the years (think Glenn Close in "The Paper," only more direct & much nicer). Heck, I've even seen this role reprised in newsrooms a time or two!
Anyway, you should see this flick. It's great on intrigue, creepy in just the right spots, irreverent as hell & just plain Good Ol' Amercan Newspaper Fun. Make sure you stay for the entire show, though. I guarantee that the Hitchcockian ending will leave you in a pleasant puzzled puddle.