Directed by James Vanderbilt
Written by James Vanderbilt
Starring: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, and Elizabeth Moss
“Truth” follows the story on “60 Minuets” about George W. Bush’s service in the Air National Guard in the early 1970’s. “Truth” being a movie about journalism, there will be inevitable comparisons to “All the Presidents Men” (which also stars Robert Redford). “All the Presidents Men” “Truth” is not, because “All the Presidents Men” is about the process that went into the investigation of the Watergate story. “Truth” focus’ on the fallout and the controversy that surrounded the Bush story. The difference between the Watergate and the Bush stories being that the Watergate story was confirmed, where the Bush went unconfirmed.
The story of “Truth” revolving around politics, is politically one-sided. In part because the screenplay for the movie was adapted from “60 Minuets” producer Mary Mapes’ memoir “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power.” The story adapted from Mapes’ memoir is told from her perspective and contains her biases. The other part is that the politics of movie are not necessarily defined as liberal and conservative but by the free press and influence of outside political forces. The claim made in the film, a claim that Dan Rather supports, is that how CBS handling of the situation was influenced by the political interests of CBS’ parent company Viacom.
“Truth” being biased toward the free press, the movie feels self-important and preachy. Everything that the characters said was grandiose and sounded like it was intended to be written in stone. The highlight of the film was Cate Blanchette as the producer Mary Mapes. Her performance elevated the film, and she was a commanding presence.
“Truth” was a fascinating look at journalism and what happens hen the story goes awry. As with many movies based on a true story, a person, or a historical event the movie should be looked at like a painting of the event, story, or individual, and not like a photograph of them.