Truth, film review: Another film about journalists weeks after Spotlight

Truth

Truth - Credit: Archant

The UK release of Truth, a film about TV journalists losing their careers while trying to investigate how strings were pulled to get the young George W. Bush out of serving in Vietnam, has two big things going against it.

Firstly, it’s another journalism film just weeks after Spotlight. Secondly, it is a paean to Dan Rather, the revered US news anchor.

The American custom for bestowing gravitas and importance upon news readers is a tradition we just don’t get over here.

Will tears be shed when Huw Edwards hangs up his pink tie?

It’s a standard, crusading journalist film – fast food, names connected by string on white boards, tell-it-on-the-run exposition scenes - until halfway through when their blustering sense of integrity is questioned.


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Their report for the flagship current affairs show, 60 Minutes, begins to fall apart almost immediately. Sources retract and change their stories, and doubts are cast over the validity of the documents.

The film though remains entirely on the side of the journalists.

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This talking shop is engineered to set up three grandstanding speeches – one each for Grace, Redford and Blanchett – which express the decline in values and corruption in American public life.

As worthy dramas go it is fine, but hard to warm to.

The Bush Jr administration has made us all zoo keepers at the elephant house, and we will spend decades trying to shovel up its messes. Here we are squabbling over his wartime cowardice and not even being able to nail him for that.

The mean get meaner, the rich get richer, and you’re stuck here with the other losers watching Truth and feeling hard done by.

3/5 stars.

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