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Cate Blanchett Anchors ‘Truth’

Cate Blanchett-Robert Redford-Truth-680-1Cate Blanchett
makes any movie worth seeing, and Truth
is no exception. The directorial debut for screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, White House Down), the film chronicles
a memorable chapter in the history of television news. Whether or not it’s wholly
truthful is a lingering question, since it’s based on one person’s point of
view. In this case that person is veteran news producer Mary Mapes, who worked
for CBS and won a Peabody Award for her groundbreaking coverage of prisoner
abuse at Abu Ghraib. Blanchett brings her to life as a fully-realized
character—aggressive, single-minded, impetuous. I’ve worked with people like
her. The movie has the ring of truth and that’s what matters most.

One has to be
willing to accept Robert Redford as Dan Rather, which I did, although he looks
nothing like the famous anchorman. Redford adopts some of his mannerisms but
makes little effort to replicate Rather’s Texas accent or even his hair color. He
is presented as a princely character, ever calm, somehow removed from the
commotion of newsgathering all around him.

Vanderbilt
never allows us to be overwhelmed by the facts of the case at hand, as Mapes’
team (Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Elisabeth Moss) digs into the story of
President George W. Bush’s National Guard service record. The perils of
investigative reporting are well dramatized, and we see how CBS News president
Andrew Heyward (Bruce Greenwood) keeps an eye on his people, all too aware of
what’s at stake as they go out on a limb.

Truth invites comparisons to All the President’s Men and this fall’s
upcoming release Spotlight. It manages
to hold its own, as it captures the excitement of chasing down a juicy story
and the way this one implodes. And it has the incomparable Blanchett as its
anchor—pun intended. 

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