Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

Shattered Glass, Shattered Illusions

Jerry Stratton, January 16, 2005

I’ve just finished watching the audio commentary to Billy Ray’s “Shattered Glass”. This is a brilliant movie about how we assign trust according to our pre-existing social network and our personal beliefs. It follows the career of rising star Stephen Glass, journalist for the New Republic in the mid-nineties.

The cast is fantastic. Peter Sarsgaard, Hayden Christiansen, Melanie Lynskey, Chloë Sevigny, and Hank Azaria turn in great performances. The writing is spot-on and generally very true to life.

Where the DVD really excels, however, is in bringing the director (Billy Ray) and the then-editor of the New Republic (Chuck Lane) together for the audio commentary. We get an inside look at what was happening inside the magazine offices when the true story was occurring. What Stephen Glass did was nothing new; it happened earlier with Janet Cooke in the eighties, and later with Jayson Blair in this decade.

It is about how we, as a society, often choose to prefer well-presented lies over the less-sensational truth. There is a great scene in the movie with Melanie Lynskey and Chloë Sevigny where this is hammered home.

This is a great, under-rated movie that deserves a much wider showing. I strongly recommend it.

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