Quick Thoughts: 12/22

I’m going to post these sporadically so you can keep with what I’ve been watching.  I would just do a weekly summary of what I’ve seen, but I like to post when the movies are more fresh on my mind.  This is what I have been watching:

Nothing but the Truth (2008): This is a film that I have heard nothing but good things about since its release late last year.  I even heard a little bit of Oscar buzz for Kate Beckinsale for her lead role as a Pulitzer nominated journalist that outs a CIA agent.  I can say that the buzz was definitely warranted, and she deserved a lot more attention than she got.  She runs the full gamut of emotions and mindsets as she is jailed for refusing to reveal her source for the article, putting her ethics ahead of her freedom, marriage and motherhood.  The film itself is very good as well.  It is essentially one part investigative journalism (ala State of Play), one part courtroom drama, and one part prison story.  The script is sharp with all sorts of engaging dialogue and the pacing is extremely quick even considering the scope of the subject, as well as the timespan over which the story takes place.  It’s an intelligent film, but very entertaining at the same time.  Rating:  8/10

Quiz Show (1994): The year is 1958, and television game shows are all the rage.  One of these shows is called “21” and it has hit a ratings plateau, so they have decided to ask their long standing champion (John Turturo) to take a dive.  They have found the perfect replacement in an attractive young college professor (Ralph Fiennes) who comes from one of America’s most respected literary families.  However, a young lawyer working for a Congressional subcommittee senses something fishy about the whole quiz show phenomenon and investigates its legitimacy.  Screen legend Robert Redford directs this fascinating true story, which even features a rare acting performance from director Martin Scorsese.  Slumdog Millionaire captured the heart of the nation last year and won a bunch of Oscars, but anyone who tells you Slumdog is the greatest movie ever made about a game show probably hasn’t seen Quiz Show. It was nominated for a four Academy Awards in 1995 (including Best Picture), but was largely overlooked in a stacked year going up against Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, and Forrest Gump.  If you haven’t had the chance, give Quiz Show a look.  It is an amazing film.  Rating:  9/10

Have you seen either of these movies?  What have you been watching recently?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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