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Week 12: State of Play [Apr. 21st, 2009|05:18 pm]
The Independent Film Forum


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The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum will be State of Play. Is Kevin Macdonald’s new crime flick as gripping as The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void? Are Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams any good in their leading roles? Does the film translate well from its original BBC mini-series?

Add your comments below and we’ll print the best in the newspaper next week.

This is what Anthony Quinn had to say about the film in his review for The Independent:
"It's a prestige picture all the way, supercompetent, polished, watchable – but oddly unexciting. Only once does Macdonald stage a set piece worthy of the great political thrillers of the '70s (All the President's Men, The Parallax View) he plainly admires. Cal, following a lead from a Point Corp insider, visits a grim apartment block and realises, too late, that he's pitched up right at the door of the crack assassin haunting the edge of the picture. His retreat into a basement car park and the sound of Crowe's harassed breathing as the killer stalks him are compellingly done. I would have liked more of the same."

Here's a video review of the film by the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips

Here's what Slate Magazine had to say about the film:
"If only State of Play (Universal Pictures) had been the film it so obviously wanted to be: a throwback to the gritty conspiracy pictures of the mid-'70s (The Parallax View, The Conversation, All the President's Men) in which mature, sad, smart people trying to do the right thing are slowly ensnared in ever-expanding webs of political and criminal intrigue. That movie would have felt so timely right now. Our post-financial-crash malaise feels distinctly Watergate-ian (How long have they been screwing us over? Who knew what, when?), and the dire state of the newspaper industry lends State of Play's pavement-pounding journalist hero a retro glamour. Even an ersatz '70s gritfest would have really hit the spot. But after a bracing first hour, State of Play defaults on the most basic promise of the conspiracy thriller. Instead of luring us down an ever-darker and twistier path, it strands us in a tedious and ill-designed maze."

Over to you, time to have your say...

From: mjrundle
2009-04-27 10:53 am (UTC)
It was good - very enjoyable. A really nice pace and a good storyline. I don't imagine it was a particularly realistic portrayal of the way journalism truly is in many ways, though it was relatively understated until the point where Russell Crowe met the killer (spoiler alert!) when things went a bit over the top.

I also was a little disappointed by some of the acting; particularly Ben Affleck (who I usually like) and Helen Mirren - I thought she was really hammy and over the top. Her part was stereotyped as the angry boss fighting with the renegade employee.

But otherwise an enjoyable conspiracy thriller.
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