Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shattered Glass. B+


If you had never heard of Stephen Glass before, then the title 'Shattered Glass' would definitely leave you wondering. Well let me tell you who Mr. Glass is: He's a young, talented, rather geeky writer for the magazine 'The New Republic.' His articles were full of genius, entertaining paragraphs that no one really questioned, though they certainly should have. One day, a small online magazine begins to investigate Glass' popular 'Hacker' article. They do research and begin to find out that names mentioned in the article don't even exist. It becomes quite obvious that Stephen Glass fabricated his articles. This is a true story, a sad story, a moral story that presents a lesson that goes back to what every child learns at a young age: 'don't cheat and don't lie.' Hayden Christensen plays Glass, and he's surprisingly effective. I say this due to his painful performance in 2002's 'Attack of the Clones.' But the key performance here is Peter Sarsgaard's turn as Chuck Lane, the magazine's blunt editor. Lane is disliked by most of the staff, though in the end he becomes the strongest character. Lane is the one who deals with Glass the most, and he shows absolutely no sympathy. He is the one who discovers the ultimate truth behind Glass, and he is the one who fires him. 'Shattered Glass' could have been a long movie that goes deep into the life of Glass. Rather, writer/director Billy Ray tells us the story the easy way, which is actually perfectly fine, seeing as the main moral points are brought out clearly. Technically, the film looks great. Like Ray's other film, 'Breach,' this is glossed over with a handsome, neat production that keeps a level of simplicity that bodes well with the story's easy, yet deep premise. The few flaws in 'Shattered Glass' are ones that will only bother certain people. First of all, as I said, the movie doesn't go very deep into the life of Glass. Also, Christensen is not a great actor, but he tries to be great here. The result is sort of mixed. Finally, there is an odd sequence that takes place in a classroom in which Glass relates the story of a journalist to his former teacher's class. This felt a bit odd and out of place, but then again, so did Stephen Glass.

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