Title – Truth (2015)
Director – James Vanderbilt (feature debut)
Cast – Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss, Bruce Greenwood
Plot – In 2004 a 60 Minutes crew led by Mary Mapes (Blanchett) and anchored by respected news reader Dan Rather (Redford) lead an investigation into then President George W. Bush’s military past that will threaten their very careers should it go south.
“Here’s to a great story”
Review by Eddie on 19/07/2016
While some were quick to label it a modern age All the Presidents Men (a film that shares its co-star in the form of Robert Redford), Truth doesn’t contain any of the pedigree of Alan J. Pakula’s outstanding 1976 film and while it’s from the same staple of films as the journalistic masterpiece, James Vanderbilt’s movie just never connects or envelops the audience in the way it needed to to end up as something more than sporadically insightful.
Telling the true life tale of producer/journalist Mary Mapes and her 60 Minutes crew investigation into George W. Bush’s suspect service records from his time in the air force, Truth starts out in an engaging enough fashion only to spiral down a path that becomes increasingly ham-fisted and while Vanderbilt looks to make a statement on telling the truth no matter the cost there are never really enough hard answers to make us really care what went on with the headline making story and with a name cast on highly average form Truth was truthfully never going to succeed.
In what’s become a worrying trend for Australian darling Cate Blanchett, Truth see’s the Oscar winning actress once more choose an awards baiting role as the tough as nails Mapes but in what becomes a character that shows Blanchett’s worst tendencies as an actress (overplaying, coldness) this was a wrong turn for the well regarded figure. After recent roles in such films as Carol, Knight of Cups and The Monuments Men it would be a nice change of scenery for Blanchett to take lead in a less bait like production.
Blanchett’s co-stars including the sleepwalking Robert Redford as real life American news anchor Dan Rather and the underused supports like Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss don’t make much of a mark either and while the central investigation into Bush’s history is undoubtedly quite intriguing, the characters here are anything but and once the thin veneer of the films initial promise washes away the audience is left with a bunch of people we don’t really care for.
Truth is a drama that could’ve easily made some big waves during awards season and become something of a sleeper hit but as it stands this lacklustre and bland investigational procedural is highly forgettable, mostly dull and it’d be a lie to say you need to track it down.
2 packets of Lays chips out of 5