This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shattered Glass (2003)

"I didn't do anything wrong, Chuck."
"I really wish you'd stop saying that."
-Stephen Glass and Chuck Lane.

If I had to pick my all-time favorite movie about journalism, it would probably be the classic All the President's Men (1976). In addition to having great performances and wonderful insight into the journalism world, it has suspenseful moments which prove that a thriller doesn't necessarily need bloodshed in order to be great (perfect considering the film centers on Watergate). At the bottom of the list you'd find Men on the top of is Never Been Kissed(1999), which, as Richard Roeper once eloquently put it, is as accurate about journalism as Peter Pan is about air travel.
Thankfully there have been other films which have done justice to journalism and one of them is Shattered Glass, which, like Men, is based on a true story. Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) is a highly regarded reporter/associate editor for The New Republic.
But that respect is, as the title suggests, shattered in 1998 after the magazine's new editor Chuck Lane (Peter Sarsgaard) soon discovers that Glass's story about a hacker convention in Maryland was fabricated.
Although the rest of the staff, including Glass's colleague Caitlin Avey (Chloe Sevigny) remain sympathetic to him, Lane fires him after he realizes that the convention was just one of many, if not all, of the stories Glass wrote for the magazine which were fiction.
Christensen is fine as the title character, expressing moments which make us feel a bit of sympathy for him even though we know he should answer for being a dishonest journalist.
But my favorite moment is when Lane tells Avey how Glass's actions have basically ruined all their reputations as well as that of the magazine. When Lane is brought on as the new editor, the staff does not exactly welcome him due to the popularity of his predecessor Michael Kelly(Hank Azaria). Although Lane does his best to befriend his new underlings, he soon finds himself having to forcefully remind them of what it means to be a true journalist.
The real Glass would go on to become a paralegal and, tragically, the real Kelly was later killed while covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Appropriately, the film was dedicated to him.

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