Thursday, April 23, 2009
State of Play
State of Play starts with the typical premise of two supposedly not related cases – the double murder being investigated by seasoned reporter Cal and the torrid political affair revealed post-suicide being investigated by young Della. Della and Cal initially cross each others paths because the young suicide victim Sonia was aide to Senator Stephen Collins, Cal’s college roommate. Cal refuses to deal with Della’s story until he uncovers evidence that might link his story to hers and uncover an even deeper conspiracy. Cal and Della get caught up in a web between their editor, the police, the paramilitary organization Collins is investigating, Collins and their own desire to get to the truth of the story.
State of Play is based on the BBC mini series of the same name, and I can tell you it makes an excellent movie. While I found the very tail of the conspiracy a tad predictable, State of Play is taut, suspenseful, well acted, and thoroughly entertaining to watch. From Cal’s first appearance on screen I was pulled into his world and by the end of the film I was feeling just as much passion for Della and Cal’s commitment to their art as they were.
I love Ben Affleck and have been very happy to see him get more dramatic roles. I thought he did a great job in State of Play, but I had the same problem with him in this movie that I had with Matt Damon in The Good Sheppard - age. For State of Play we have to believe that Affleck is old enough to have had Russell Crowe as college roommate and Robin Wright Penn as college sweetheart turned wife. The man was a teenager when she played Buttercup!
I greatly enjoyed State of Play and highly recommend the movie. I left the movie feeling two things: 1) Rachel McAdams needs to be in more movies, 2) I really need to see All the President’s Men.
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Billy Ray
Cal McAffrey: Russell Crowe
Stephen Collins: Ben Affleck
Della Frye: Rachel McAdams
Cameron Lynne: Helen Mirren
Anne Collins: Robin Wright Penn
Dominic Foy: Jason Bateman
Della Frye: Did we just break the law?
Cal McAffrey: Nope. That's what you call damn fine reporting.