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.
Thinking Pulitzer Prize and hoping to bring down a President, D.C. political columnist Rachel Armstrong writes that the President ignored the findings of a covert CIA operative when ordering air strikes against Venezuela. Rachel names the agent, Erica Van Doren, a woman whose young daughter is in Rachel's son's class at school. The government moves quickly to force Rachel to name her source. She's jailed for contempt when she refuses. She won't change her mind, and the days add up. Chaos descends on Van Doren's life as well. First Amendment versus national security, marriage and motherhood versus separation. What's the value of a principle? Written by
This is a movie for those wishing a career in public relations, not journalism, as it claims. Ms Beckinsale plays a reporter willing to risk everything to do the right thing, namely, protect her source. And by my estimation she succeeds quite handily. I didn't really think she could act very well, though she'd never really been tested, but she clearly can and does here, and it's a pleasure to see because there are way too many actresses out there who are merely a pretty face and body.
I had no problem thinking she could have been this determined reporter, but I should mention that my wife felt differently. Now my wife is not too kind to pretty women in general so I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but I enjoyed Kate's performance, with some minor reservations, and had no trouble being carried along by it, and it does the heavy lifting in the story, consuming the lion's share of the film. She's a beautiful lady, and perhaps I might question her having ever endured much pain and suffering in her personal life, but I don't doubt she understands what it means to have principles and can effectively imagine what it would be like to fight for them.
Another surprise was Alan Alda who I generally dislike. Here he's quite good, I thought, as was Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga and David Schwimmer. Mr Dillon is actually quite memorable and you can't take your eyes off Vera whenever she's on screen and you kind of wish she were on more. But the biggest surprise of all was that they would try to confuse what Judith Miller did with what Kate Beckinsale's character does in this film.
Ms Miller is hardly a hero. She gladly passed on information fed to her by a vindictive White House. And, why not? She'd long since done the same for the intelligence agencies before that, not particularly caring whether the information was merely manipulative or not. As I understand it, she was most interested in forwarding Israel's agenda in the New York Times whenever she could. And it was less a matter of finding the truth than it was playing gullible at the right moment. That they're clearly attempting to resurrect her career here is pretty contemptible though I can't really say that completely destroys the performances or the peculiar entertainment value of the movie.
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