Movies: Real News Edition

By Nick McCann

All The President’s Men

Starting off right with one of my favorites from the 70s. This film covers the story of real-life reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation into the Watergate Scandal, documenting all the breakthrough developments and subsequent meetings with their anonymous informant, Deep Throat.

The plot is mostly going to depend on your understanding of the actual event, which itself can be a lot to pay attention to for some. Regardless, this is as masterful of a film as any other.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman deliver career-highlighting performances and have brilliant chemistry as Woodward and Bernstein, starting off as critics of each other that slowly develop a rhythm to their work. The rest of the cast, including Hal Holbrook and Jason Robards, do excellent jobs as well.

In addition, the directing is ripe with suspense and intrigue. Each new revelation has impact to where it puts our heroes at risk. Along with some excellent cinematography, editing and solid score, this movie earns its place as an American classic.

Spotlight

A recent hit that delivers the same experience and effect as “All The President’s Men.” This film concerns the true story of the Boston Globe’s reporter team, Spotlight, debunking a conspiracy involving sexually abusive priests back in 2002.

From start to finish, the tone is played up with a great realism to where I stopped seeing famous actors like Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams and saw the real-life heroes they played. Every one of the performers, especially Mark Ruffalo, are at the top of their game.

Just like with “All the President’s Men” before it, this film offers one of the best portrayals of reporters in cinema. Not to go into specifics, but the actors follow a lot of the procedures, behave appropriately with their interview subjects and overall don’t do anything that has a Hollywood style to it.

Much of it has to do with a great script that not only respects the journalist side, but also the side of the Catholic Church. The non-biased look at the events feel mature and provides a lot of fascination into how each side reacted. Along with some good cinematography and a melancholy score, this is a terrific watch for casual viewers and journalism enthusiasts alike.

The Paper

This film may not have the advantage of a real-life event as a premise, but it doesn’t need it. “The Paper” still manages to capture the fast, hectic daily lives of professional newspaper writers.

This time, the story deals with a police cover-up involving a race-related murder. It just keeps building up the stakes throughout to an absolute fist-clenching resolve.

Ron Howard swiftly directs this film with ease and the cast is of the 90s’ best talent, with the likes of Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Marisa Tomei and Randy Quaid.

Never once do things get boring as this film moves quickly, showing the hilarity and hardships of working in the big leagues. For anyone wanting to know more about the happy, sad, good, bad ride that is newswriting, look no further.

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