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
The students in the class Stephen Glass speaks to were played by French Canadians from Montreal. None of the students speak because most of the extras didn't speak English. See more »
To further prove Stephen fabricated the location of his stories, Chuck could've asked the security guard what the building person capacity was. See more »
[Pitching his next article to his editor with his colleagues listening]
Is anyone interested in computer hackers? Because I met this kid named Ian Restil, biggest computer geek of all time: he hacked his way into the data base of a company called Jukt Micronics and posted naked pictures of women and the salary of every Jukt employee on their website with a note saying,"the Big Bad Bionic Boy has been here baby". The guys at Jukt decided it would be cheaper to hire him as a security consultant ...
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The New Republic is one of many political comment magazines published out of Washington DC. The writing/editing staff is small and young and includes the humble and friendly Stephen Glass. His stories are often very interesting and outrageous and he starts to attract attention from other magazines for contributions. When writes about an on-line hacker who attacked the website of a large software company he attracts the attention of an internet-based journal and writer Adam Penenberg who gets attacked by his editor for missing the story. However, as Penenberg starts to look at the facts behind the story he starts to suspect that the story is one large fabrication.
I only vaguely remember the original breaking of this story and am not aware of the full facts behind the story but I was interested enough to go and see this film when it was released at the weekend. The film opens with Glass giving a talk to a class back at his old school where he learnt his trade, this is then used as a tool to give background on both him and the job he does. This works pretty well even if it is a little confusing as to when it is happening (a fact not understood until the end). The main thrust of the film is the gradual exposure of the lies that Glass has been perpetrated within his stories. In this regard it works pretty well as a drama with a good story made all the more interesting and engaging by being true. It never really ignites into being a thriller and it misses a few opportunities to really be gripping but it still performs well as a good solid film perhaps it was a decision not to stick in more shouting or acting fireworks, it was the right decision but I'm sure some audiences will expect shouting and fireworks.
The one moment I did feel that the film missed out was where Chuck picks several editions off the shelf and starts to realize the extent of the lies that they have been publishing: that scene wasn't dramatic and it wasn't convincing, that should have been a lot more dramatic but this is only one scene in the whole film. Like I said, some people will find this film a bit slow and lacking in pace but for me it was the story that drove the film as opposed to theatrical tricks. The cast help the film a great deal, even if many of them are barely more than cameos. Christensen's performance worried me at the start because it seemed to be a bit cheesy but after 15 minutes I realized that this was the point. His Glass is manipulative and deceitful to the point where it is an act that he delivers naturally it was a difficult character to do and, despite him not being showy, he gets it bang on and he delivers the same character throughout while just allowing the audience's perception of him to change. Sarsgaard actually turns out to have the lion's share of the film and he gets the showiest moments of shouting he is good and acts as our eyes. Sevingy is a real good actress and does well with her few scenes. The rest of the cast is well padded with famous faces who all deliver well with the little they have. Azaria is good and is given a good character (who died in real life covering the war in Iraq), Zahn manages to not be an annoying pr*ck a feat in itself, but Dawson's presence was a mystery to me. She has very little to do other that be pretty and show the pressure in her job, but he is barely more than a cameo.
Overall this film lacks fireworks and bases it's slow pace on the facts of the true story and not hammy acting or directing flourishes. In this regard the film is enjoyable if a little slow. It squanders a few changes to make more of an impact but generally it delivers a true story in a manner that is straight but well told. A great cast aren't all used well but are good where it matters while also adding depth. Not the film that Saturday night crowds will be hoping for but a good story well told nonetheless.
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