An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
A political thriller about Laine Hanson, a senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. During the confirmation process, Laine is the victim of a vicious attack on her personal life in which stories of sexual deviancy are spread. She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations. Written by
Gary Oldman and co-producer Douglas Urbanski complained, after the film was released, that the film was changed from the more balanced script by Dreamworks Studios to reflect the liberal politics of the studios head at Dreamworks (Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen). The British Oldman, who according to long-time business partner Urbanski is "the least political person I know", was simply contending this since he didn't enjoy how negatively his character was portrayed. Dreamworks vehemently denied tampering with the film. See more »
Timmy Hanson says "being the vice president is better than being the president...'cause nobody wants to shoot the vice president." That isn't quite true. In 1804 sitting vice president Aaron Burr infamously dueled against former secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton's shot missed Burr while Burr's shot mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the next day. Burr was later tried for murder but acquitted. However, the character who says this is six years old, and probably does not have such an extensive history knowledge. See more »
The Contender is a film with the potential to take any conscientious person with even a mild interest in how governments are run , and who the leaders are through a non-stop roller-coaster ride of challenge, triumph, pain, failure, and morality. Although I intensely appreciated this movie, I do not believe this could have been an oscar-winning film because the truths it expresses with regards to the presence of women in high ranking political positions far outway its acting and directing talents, with the possible exception of Gary Oldman's role as Shelly Runyon, who was frighteningly convincing at being an absolutely awful man. I enjoyed this movie because of its intention to show what women in politics really face. The strength displayed by Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) while up for vice president is nothing short of inspirational. Gary Oldman's character provides us with a good idea of how manipulative and ruthless people can be when in a position of power and, ironically, when they have been put in a position to judge another's morality. This film seems so realistic that we tend to forget it's a movie. It makes us question, why does a person have to be surrounded by such controversy and be forced to take on such a defensive position, simply for being a woman? What I appreciated is the refusal of Hanson to succomb to the pressure of taking that defensive position, regardless of the truth. Of course, the other refreshing aspect in this movie is Jeff Bridges' role as an ideal president.
All in all, it is a long overdue account of reality, with great character development but not recommended for those with short attention spans, as it is dialogue, and lots of it.
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