Friday, November 4, 2011

State of Play (2009) PG13 - 4 Stars

Really enjoyed this intense suspenseful drama with great performances by Crowe, Affleck, McAdams and Mirren. For me, it's one of Crowe's best performances and I also thought Affleck was cast perfectly as Congressman Collins. The story takes many twists and just when you think you have it solved, there's more. It's a "hold-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat" thriller. Crowe gets answers where others can't and the movie does a good job defining the corruption steamed from power, and greed in both corporate and government.

Cal McAffrey, (Russell Crowe), is a journalist for the Washington Globe. He's working on a murder of a homeless man. He arrives on the scene of the crime with coffee in hand in hopes of insider information from detective Donald Bell, (Harry Lennix). Cal has a way of obtaining information that the police aren't even able to find.

U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins, (Ben Affleck), is rising up the corporate ladder very quickly. He's the chairman of a committee that oversees spending habits of the Department of Defense. Sonia Baker, (Maria Thayer), is Collins aide and mistress, and on her way to work falls in front of an oncoming train and is killed. Collins learns of her death just minutes before he's to speak to the committee about his findings of corruption against military contractor, Point Corp. Instead, he tearfully breaks down leading most to believe there is more between these two co-workers.

Junior reporter Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), shows up athe the Globe trying to get information from Cal about Collins. She has learned that the two go way back to college days and figures he can give her the dirt for her blog on the congressman. Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren), editor of the Globe tries to get Cal to make nice with Della but he's insulted by her tabloid intent and refuses.

While Cal is working on the murder story of the night before, Collins shows up with no where else to go. He has to dodge a bullet in the media after Sonia's death as now it looks like a suicide implying killing herself because Collins wouldn't leave his wife. Watching his grand career about to take a dump, Collins asks for advice from a friend from a media point of view.

As Cal looks farther into Sonia's death, he decides to use Della's services and sends her out on tough assignments to prove her worthy of reporting. Together they start to unravel more information that directly connects Senator Fergus (Jeff Daniels), to the corruption at Point Corp as they obtains photos that prove Sonia was pushed onto the tracks in a cover-up.

Awards:
2009 - Australian Film Institute - Best Actor - Russell Crowe


Working Title Films, Universal Pictures
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writers: Matthew Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Billy Ray
Producers: Andrew Hauptman, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
I viewed 12/10

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