St. Louis- “Truth” is a newsroom drama based on the book “Truth and Duty” by former “60 Minutes” news producer Mary Mapes.
Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett plays Mary Mapes while Academy Award-winner Robert Redford stars as Dan Rather. The film chronicles the 2004 CBS “60 Minutes” investigation that uncovered speculation that sitting President George W. Bush may have been AWOL from the Texas National Guard for more than a year during the Vietnam War. When the story blew up in their faces, the ensuing scandal ruined Dan Rather’s career, nearly changed a U.S. Presidential election, and almost took down all of CBS News in the process.
The acting in this exciting drama is phenomenal. Blanchett really knocks it out of the park. I won’t be surprised if she is — again — nominated for an Academy Award for this role.
At first I had a little trouble seeing Redford as Rather since I know what Rather really looks like, but after awhile, I got so engrossed in the film that it didn’t matter. Redford and Blanchett are supported by an excellent cast. Dennis Quaid is exceptional as Lt. Colonel Roger Charles. Toper Grance plays Mike Smith. Bruce Greenwood is Andrew Heyward, president of CBS. Stacy Keach plays Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett and Elisabeth Moss is Lucy Scott. All representing real people somehow embroiled in the scandal.
Regardless of your political persuasion, you will find that “Truth” is an interesting and entertaining look at television journalism through the eyes of an insider. Mapes produced Rather’s shows. The excellent screenplay was written by James Vanderbilt. “Truth” is Vanderbilt’s first turn at directing. It won’t be his last. The film is fast and compelling.
The film was not open to the public; only film critics and their guests were able to screen the film. Everyone I talked with though — some of whom were print journalist in some capacity — liked the film and thought it was an excellent portrayal of an intense deadline-oriented atmosphere. I really enjoyed the movie and found the premise quite interesting. Like most people, I thought Rather just retired of his own volition. I didn’t realize he was forced to retire from CBS news and “60 Minutes” — very eye-opening and thought provoking, especially from the outside looking in on this industry. It’s a don’t miss particularly for those interested in being a fly on the wall in a newsroom situation.
“Truth” opens at Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac on Friday.
The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.