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This film tells the true story of fraudulent Washington, D.C. journalist Stephen Glass (Christensen), who rose to meteoric heights as a young writer in his 20s, becoming a staff writer at "The New Republic" for three years (1995-1998), where 27 of his 41 published stories were either partially or completely made up. Looking for a short cut to fame, Glass concocted sources, quotes and even entire stories, but his deception did not go unnoticed forever, and eventually, his world came crumbling down... Written by
In the DVD commentary, the real Charles Lane talks about confronting Stephen Glass in front of a restaurant in which Glass claims to have had dinner with people he featured in a dubious article. Lane's comments occur as this confrontation is dramatized in an exterior shot filmed at the actual location of the restaurant in Bethesda, Md. Lane's comments identify the restaurant as "the Original House of Pancakes." But in the shot, a sign inside the restaurant that is visible through the glass front door shows a logo (a chef flipping a very large pancake above a frying pan) and name which correctly identifies the restaurant as part of the national breakfast-and-lunch franchise, "The Original Pancake House". See more »
At the end of the film, Stephen Glass, Chuck Lane, and their respective lawyers had a meeting to determine which of Glass's articles were fraudulent. In the DVD commentary, both director Billy Ray and the real-life Charles Lane said that the meeting happened, but only the lawyers attended. See more »
Written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence
Performed by INXS
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) obo Chardonnay Investments and XL Publishing Pty, Ltd. (APRA)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Group
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing See more »
As the film opens we meet Stephen Glass, a rising star at "The New Republic" magazine. He's sensitive, friendly and unfailingly polite. And, oh yeah, did I mention he was on everybody's hot list? He was being wooed by everyone from "George Magazine" to "Harper's" to the "New York Times." Unfortunately, behind the Glass juggernaut was a compulsive liar who took everyone for a downhill ride. You see, Glass fabricated over 20 stories, inventing sources, locations, times, dates, and companies.
Hayden Christensen was fabulous as the ingratiating/creepy Glass. As a CNN.com reviewer pointed out, this movie proves he can act.
Christensen's Glass is the ultimate likeable co-worker, who remembers everyone's birthday, knows how everyone takes their coffee and is so self-deprecatingly sweet that when things start unraveling you feel sorry for him. Despite his audacious lies and deceits, you like him and wonder why everyone is being so mean. Christensen walks the fine line between good and evil so well, you watch in amazement. You feel sorry for him, you're repulsed by him, you're embarrassed for him...
At times I turned to my friend and said "Man! Is this hard to watch." And it was.
Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Glass' editor, Chuck Lane, is wonderfully understated as the misunderstood editor. (For those at home who care, he's also really cute in that nerdy handsome way.)
The movie incisively exposes the world of journalism -- with it's big egos, pedantic copy editors, and ultra-competitive writers. I could see many of my co-workers (current and former) in the archetypes portrayed on screen (the braggart, the attention getter, the know-it-all, the guy who will split the most microscopic of hairs just for the heck of it).
It also brings home the incredible responsibility on the shoulders of journalists. It's easy to forget this responsibility in pursuit of personal glory or attention, but it's the reader who gets hurt. Everyone in the business of journalism should see this movie. But with its twists and turns and shocking (yet true!) events, it's a movie for anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
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