State of Play
starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Viola Davis, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels and Helen Mirren
written by Mathew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray
directed by Kevin Macdonald
This is a conspiracy film based on a BBC television miniseries. In American film it is in the same vein as Conspiracy Theory, Enemy of the State, Syriana,Body of Lies, The Pelican Brief, etc. A newspaper reporter covering a murder case stumbles across connections leading to a big picture of power politics, illegality threatening to undermine the foundations of the state, etc., kind of like Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward uncovering the Watergate crime and scandal in the 1976 film All the President’s Men (based on the 1974 book of the same title by Bob Woodward). But like Duplicity there is a twist at the end, so the film does not play out like the government-breaking, career-ending scandal we expect. Watch it and see.
I like a film with Jason Bateman in it. The last one I saw was his supporting role in the teenage pregnancy movie, Juno. Jeff Daniels is excellent.