Film stuff: State Of Play starring Russell Crowe

Long time, no speak...that's the problem with Twitter, it's just so fast if you've a short attention span/ very little time. Still, I don't want to neglect the blog so thought I'd do a quickie on a movie I saw last night. Based on an original BBC series with John Simm and Bill Nighy which I'm amazed to say I've never seen (normally I seek out anything with John Simm in), STATE OF PLAY the film is directed by Kevin McDonald (Touching the Void) and stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams.

Now, this film had a rather troubled conception - Brad Pitt was attached to play the Russell Crowe role but dropped out shortly before filming due to disagreements caused by script rewrites, causing various delays - which led to Edward Norton having to drop out also - to be replaced by Ben Affleck. Various scribes were involved too, and Paul Abbott (who created the original BBC series) was reportedly initially reluctant to sell the movie rights because he was wary of a six-hour miniseries being successfully compressed into a 2 hour film - and perhaps transposed to America.

Often, a difficult or protracted genesis signals a very-possibly-ropey film. And while I'm sure my lack of awareness of the original TV series has helped here, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It's engrossing, well-acted (I thought the scruffy, slighty tubby Crowe was great, and can't now imagine Pitt in the role, as was Ben Affleck. Viola Davis puts in another brief but excellent performance, and Jason Batemen, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren all shine too), well-paced, amart entertainment. It's not trying to be an intricate examination of government or corporate politics, it's simply a good looking thriller which zips along and keeps the viewer (this one at least) switched on and engaged throughout.

It's out on April 24th - here's the trailer if you like that kind of thing - I heartily recommend! It's a damn sight better than the piss-poor Monsters Vs Aliens...


Anonymous said...

How was robin wright penn?
Is her role very small?

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Thx so much for your petit review of this movie. Simply can't wait! The chemistry between Crowe and Mirren is something I truly look forward to.

The Other Girl said...

You're most welcome! Robin Wright Penn was good in a small, but nonetheless fairly significant role. And the interplay between Crowe and Mirren is great fun. She's a great choice - and I do like the fact that it's now a ballsy woman heading up the paper, rather than a man as in the original.

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