Shattered Glass (2003) (PG-13)
It's usually random coincidence that I have in finding a movie. Usually, I'm surfing the web and come across one article or video clip that mentions how good or bad a certain movie is. Then there's the occasion of recommendations or references and some of those have been fun. But I can't put a finger on when or where I first heard about "Shattered Glass". It wasn't a movie that was at the top of my list but I got a hold of it and decided...you know what, why not? I wasn't expecting greatness when I began, seeing as Hayden Christensen was the lead man and I wasn't that impressed with him in the only other thing (like many others) I had seen him in which was "Star Wars". For that fact alone, I was willing to condemn the movie as a B-list movie with entertainment purposes but nothing else...and boy, did I get it wrong.
The movie surrounds a young reporter named Stephen Glass.
Stephen is a very successful budding journalist. He's in the top of his game, writing for The New Republic, which was regarded as one of the more premier and well-respected magazines in the United States.
His stories ranged from political to transparent puff pieces and back again but he always wrote with a veracity and a determination that was unparalleled.
I don't wish to reveal any plot details so I'll just talk about the movie itself. It's better to go into the picture blindly, you'll have a better time.
The first comparison that leaps to your mind when watching "Shattered Glass" is with "All the President's Men" since both take place in a newspaper/journalistic setting.
There are a few dynamics to the office, mainly the relationship between writer and editor.
As a protagonist, Stephen seems odd and arrogant. He's sexuality is brought up at the beginning of the picture and then never resolved and it adds to the mystique surrounding this character. At first, Christensen can seem pretentious and I was mentally substituting other actors that I thought could do the job better—Ryan Phillippe, (maybe) Alex Pettyfer, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The role demands someone who's good looking and cocky and I thought that Christensen wasn't the right fit at first. He seems fake but the way he talks and how he carries himself is somewhat intriguing.
Now done with the film, I'm convinced that no one could have done this role better than Christensen.
Actually, all the acting in "Shattered Glass" was surprisingly good. The most notable are roles played by Steve Zahn, Hank Azaria, and the wonderful Peter Sarsgaard.
Keep in mind that this movie is based on a true story and I find myself researching the real Stephen Glass out of fascination which is an incredibly good thing for an audience member to do.
From the restraint of the director to the performances that stun to the cinematography that is complicatedly simple, "Shattered Glass" really packed quite a punch.
The ending is sensational. It ties everything up with a nice big bow and doesn't leave you wanting more or less. I wouldn't change anything with this movie, I feel that it answered all my questions in the right time with the right method.
It's evocative parts come from Sarsgaard's character asking the true question that lingers on the viewer's mind: what is journalism?
I was shocked by how much I liked this movie and how good it really was. It starts off and builds momentum and that increase in motion never ceases. It carries until the credits role up.
There are so many facets of the film to praise, from the script to the director to the music—they all deliver.
I like finding movies like this, the ones that no one really heard of and maybe received some slight critical attention but mostly escaped the public eye. The can be good like "The Lovely Bones" or great like "The Beaver" but mostly I just enjoy this weird side genre of movies: the films that got left behind. If no one else will pick them up and cuddle them and love them, don't worry, I will.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones