Sunday, December 07, 2003

Shattered Glass (IMDB) (Netflix)
Good journalists ingratiate themselves with their subjects, bad ones cultivate their colleagues and bosses. The New Republic magazine had its own Jayson Blair, in the form of Stephen Glass (played by Hayden Christensen), a wunderkind who was getting the stories that no one else got. There was a reason for this, of course, just like there was a reason why MCI/WorldCom could make huge profits when Sprint was gasping for air, wondering what the hell was going on. Peter Sarsgaard is TNR's editor when it all starts to unravel, and Chloƫ Sevigny one of the staunchest Glass allies.

Even though it's a supporting role, Sarsgaard's contribution is far more interesting because he has the tough choices to make, and bravely doesn't play to our sympathies in making them. Christensen proves he can act (his Star Wars performance is an example of when bad dialogue happens to good actors), with a mix of youthful arrogance and cloying opportunism. The ending is extremely well done, both poignant and affirming.

A small picture, with a lot of substance.