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
According to Charles Lane, the scene in which Lane confronts Stephen Glass in front of The New Republic magazine covers was an almost exact retelling of the actual events. See more »
Chuck tells Stephen the writers from Forbes Magazine can look up the records in the office building where the National Assembly supposedly took place. This is inaccurate because the writers from Forbes Magazine are not a government agency therefore the owners of the office building aren't legally obligated to provide those records because it would be considered privileged information. See more »
Have you noticed the way Steve's phone has been ringing lately? Did you see all those editors at the correspondence dinner? The way they were circling him?
Is that what you want, Amy? To get a bunch of smoke blown up your ass by a pack of editors?
Yes. Yes it is.
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The public-at-large loves a good scandal, and in 1998, the scandal involving Stephen Glass was a pretty darn good one. It turned out that Glass, a young prodigy who was writing for several magazines, but primarily for the prestigious 'New Republic' ('the in-flight magazine of Air Force One') had fabricated some or all of 21 of his 41 well-received stories; a scandal that rocked the journalism world and was picked up by the general public and was later repeated with Jayson Blair.
'Shattered Glass', co-written and directed by Billy Ray examines this true-life story, with Hayden Christensen playing Glass and Peter Sarsgaard as his editor, Chuck Lane. I have never seen Christensen's work in anything else until this point, and I was impressed by his acting chops. He was able to handily express Glass's desperate need for acceptance and his compulsive and repulsively cunning nature so well that the viewer, when faced with the dilemma of how to feel about this man, can only watch numbly as the train wreck that becomes his life careens further out of control. Sarsgaard, as usual, is fantastic as the fair and decent-minded Lane, the editor who first tries to help and protect Glass, but then, after digging deeper, finds that there is a lot more to the man than sloppy journalism.
It is actually surprising to me that 'Shattered Glass' became a film. I remember reading a Vanity Fair piece on Glass back when the scandal broke, and that, and the myriad other articles seemed to be sufficient exposure. The fact that 'Shattered Glass' was released five years after the scandal settled down, and that it is a compelling screenplay and film is a testimony to Ray's (a first time director) talent. 'Shattered Glass' is gut-wrenching in that it is difficult to watch because the viewer knows how deep Glass digs himself, and it's not necessarily fun to watch. 'Shattered Glass' is an intelligent, well-done film and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who appreciates that a film doesn't have to be showy in order to make an impact.
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