When a terrorist bombing in North Africa kills 19 incl. an American, an Egyptian chemical engineer flying from South Africa to his wife in USA, is arrested upon arriving USA. He disappears. His wife asks senator for help.
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
Floyd Abrams, who plays the judge in the film and is also credited as technical advisor, is a real-life attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), for which he has litigated cases raising issues of First Amendment rights and national security similar to those at the heart of the film's plot. See more »
Numerous times, Rachael is referred to as "Miss Armstrong", but since she's married, the correct title is "Mrs." See more »
Now for some reason, you don't reveal your source, you'll be held in contempt. And that means jail time. And we're not talking about some sort of a Martha Stewart cell with a butler nonsense.
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Very nice movie, a bit slow. Kate Beckinsale refuses to not look completely edible even when she has jail scenes, while Vera Farmiga looks just as good as to make one think it will be a movie about a cat fight. But it is far from it. I think the best acted role in this movie belongs to Matt Dillon, though.
The film portrays the trials (pun intended) of an American journalist who is jailed and then imprisoned for withholding the source of her article. Why? Because it involved matters of national security. Is national security more important than truth and integrity? The movie tries to explain why it is not by detailing how deep this is inscribed in the U.S. legislation. Basically, you can say whatever you want, just not what they don't want you to say.
Kate Beckinsale does a very good role, a bit airy and a bit brave. "A water walker", someone calls her character in the film. Best description ever :) David Schwimmer manages to be annoying in this one, as well.
Bottom line: a must see movie, however keep in mind that even if it based on the true story of Valerie Plame, it is very loosely so. Yet, without being American, my guess is that the legislation portrayed in the film exists and any reporter could and would go through the main character's ordeal if having enough backbone.
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